Grilled Peaches over Mixed Greens with Ricotta, Avocado, and Sweet Onion Dressing

As I write this post on September 5 immediately following Labor Day, I have declared to myself that I’m not ready to let go of the summer season quite yet. For that reason and because cooking has become such a prominent hobby of mine, I’m going to continue to cook traditional summer fare well into September (okay, maybe Mid-September). Out of curiosity, I researched the duration of peach season in New Jersey and found that it extends into September -a stark contrast to some other states – where peach season culminates in late August. Thus, this grilled peach recipe came to fruition.

While I didn’t use the white peaches that were called for, the peaches I did purchase were fresh from a farm stand near my home. I was initially enamored with this recipe because it encompasses grilled fruit, some greens, cheese (perhaps the most important of all), complete with a flavorful, and satiating dressing. I’m also trying to utilize the fresh herbs in the garden as much as possible over the course of the next few months, and mint came into play nicely for this one.

You also won’t break the bank as you gather the elements found in this recipe. About half the items can be found in your pantry, which always puts me at ease before I attempt to make anything in the kitchen. There’s something to be said for buying locally and this recipe is a testament to that fact, especially if you’re buying from a farmers market or farm stand. The act of grilling brings out the sweet, rich flavors of the peaches and sets the stage for the fourth and final step in crafting this delectable dish: adding the dollop of ricotta, light-drizzle of honey, and freshly cracked pepper.

Grilled Peaches over Mixed Greens with Ricotta, Avocado, and Sweet Onion Dressing
Recipe taken from brokeassgourmet.com
Serves 2-4

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2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing grill
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 handful of mint, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp. + 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey, plus more for drizzling
2 ripe peaches, halved and pit removed
8 tbsp ricotta cheese
8 cups mixed greens
1 ripe avocado
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat vegetable oil in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring very occasionally, for 10-12 minutes. The onions should become very soft and fragrant.

In a food processor or blender, puree caramelized onions, mint, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and a pinch of salt. Add a few drops of water if necessary to achieve a nearly-smooth dressing. Set aside.

Heat grill or grill pan over high heat. Brush lightly with oil. Grill peaches flesh-side down for 2-3 minutes, or until grillmarks appear and peaches soften slightly. Remove from heat.

To assemble salads, toss greens together with dressing and divide between 2 or 4 plates. Top with a few avocado slices and 1 or 2 peach halves. Top each peach half with a generous dollop of ricotta, a light drizzle of honey and freshly-cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

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