​Grilled peach salad with crumbled cheese, toasted pecans & raspberry vinaigrette

We think of fruit and vegetables like we think of children – we love them all and would never dare choose a favorite. But we’d be lying if we didn’t say that we have a soft spot for Prunus persica, or the peach. Nothing beats biting into a perfectly ripe peach, complete with juices running down your chin. Yes, it’s messy but mighty tasty.

The peach is a member of the rose family and can be found growing in temperate areas of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. They probably hail from China and then migrated throughout Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe where eventually, Spanish explorers brought them to our neck of the woods.

At Sichler Farms, we take peaches seriously and source ours from top growers in Palisade, Colorado. Peaches have been grown there since the late 1800s when water was diverted from the Colorado River to irrigate the soil, creating the perfect growing conditions for peaches and other soft and hard fruit.

By all means, eat a peach as is (keeping a napkin handy) but if you’d like something a bit different, can we suggest our grilled peach salad? You can grill the peaches outdoors or if the weather isn’t cooperating on a grill pan in the kitchen. Pair the peaches with some crumbled cheese (we love goat’s cheese or feta), some toasted pecans and a raspberry vinaigrette.

And if you’re in town, please stop by the farm stand and say ‘hello’. We’re back up and running for the summer season and you’ll find peaches and lots of our other ‘children’ waiting for you.

Makes two side or lunch salads:

1/3 cup crumbled goat’s cheese and/or feta

2 generous handfuls of arugula

1 peach

12 pecan halves, chopped

2 slices of prosciutto (optional)

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the peach slices before grilling

Vinaigrette

6 fresh raspberries

3 Tbsp mild olive oil

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Salt & pepper

To make the dressing, place all of the ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor and blitz until the berries are roughly pureed. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to serve the salads.

In a frying pan, toast the chopped pecans until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the nuts and place in a small bowl to cool. If using the prosciutto, place in the hot frying pan and cook for a minute or two on each side until crispy. Remove from the heat.

Cut the peach in half and slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges, depending on the size of the peach. Brush lightly with the vegetable oil and cook either on an outdoor grill or a grill pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side until you have nice grill marks.

Divide the arugula onto two plates, top with the prosciutto (if using), the grilled peach slices, cheese and pecans. Drizzle over the dressing and serve.