As August rolls through Kern County, the last thing I want to do is turn on my stove! With temps consistently in the triple digits, I have little energy to cook. Right now, grocery stores are flooded with local stone fruit and I have the perfect recipe that won't require you to heat up your kitchen!
Layout your salad ingredients. You'll need:
1 box or bag (about 3 big handfuls) of baby arugula
2 - 3 ripe peaches depending on size, I love using white peaches for their sweeter, more floral taste
3/4 cup - 1 cup crumbled plain (unflavored) goat cheese
1/4 of a thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup shelled, roasted and salted pistachios, I buy these.
Make the honey balsamic dressing. This makes about half of a cup. You may use all of it on your salad, or have some leftover depending on your preference. If so, this will keep well in your refrigerator for about a week, so feel free to store what's left!
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar (This is a little thicker and sweeter than regular balsamic vinegar, but if you don't have anything aged on hand, regular balsamic will work just fine!)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (Trust me, you don't taste this, it just emulsifies the dressing.)
1 teaspoon honey (I love using local honey because it helps keep my allergies in check!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
I like to arrange this salad on a big platter instead of in a bowl. This provides more surface area to spread out all of my ingredients and create a beautiful presentation! This is also a great opportunity to invite your kids into the kitchen, and let their creative juices flow.
Here's how I make mine:
First, I lay down the arugula. Then, I add the peaches and distribute them in an even layer. Next, I add the thinly sliced red onion, followed by the crumbled goat cheese. Finally, I add the roasted and salted pistachios for some crunch, and drizzle my balsamic dressing in a back and forth motion across the entire platter. This dish is salty, sweet, peppery and creamy. It makes the perfect side, but topped with some protein (like grilled chicken or a piece of fish) instantly turns this recipe into a main dish!
Wow, this salad is a powerhouse for our bodies. It's gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made paleo or Whole30 if you choose to omit the cheese. Personally, I say keep it in! Did you know goat cheese is the best form of dairy for our bodies? Goat's milk is lower in lactose than cow's milk, making it much easier to digest. Goat cheese is also packed with probiotics, which further supports healthy digestion, as well as protein, vitamins and minerals. Peaches support glowing skin, pistachios prevent dry skin and arugula protects cells from DNA damage. While each bite of this salad tastes more decadent than the last, you can rest easy knowing you're fueling your body with whole, nutritious foods. Happy eating!