Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese, Ginger Maple-Pecans and Balsamic Reduction

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This summery peach salad features grilled peach slices, fresh arugula, crumbled blue cheese, and maple-ginger pecans. The blue cheese and balsamic reduction is an irresistible complement to the sweet peaches and peppery arugula.

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 3

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Dietary guidance: v g 

Tags: salad · peach · summer · balsamic · arugula · reduction ·

Ingredients

• 6 whole pecans
• 3 teaspoons of maple syrup
• ¼ teaspoon of finely grated ginger
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1.5 ounces baby arugula (about 3 hands full)
• 3 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
• 1 tablespoon melted butter
• 1 yellow peach, halved, pitted and sliced into 3 - ¼ inch thick rounds

Method

1. Ginger Maple Pecans: Preheat oven to 250. Combine maple syrup and ginger. Add pecans to a small skillet, add the maple syrup and ginger and stir until nuts are well coated. Cook over medium heat until maple syrup bubbles then quickly evaporates. Spread out nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure that they are not touching, and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. This will make them crunchy and candied. Set aside to cool.
2. Balsamic Reduction: In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar to a mild simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cook until the amount has reduced to ¾ of the original amount – about 30 minutes. Taste and test the drizzling consistency until it coats a spoon. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Save leftovers for drizzling over meat, salads, vegetables, and fruit.
3. Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Salad Greens: In a medium bowl toss the arugula with the dressing. Taste and adjust the amount of dressing if necessary.
5. Grilled Peaches:
Preheat a cast iron grill until it is hot and smoky .
Brush a little melted butter on the cut sides of the peaches. Place the peaches on the grill. Grill the peaches until they are softened and grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Flip to the other side and grill for about 30 seconds. Remove with a spatula.
6. Final Presentation: Place about .5 oz of dressed arugula on each salad plate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles over the salad. Arrange a peach round over each bed of arugula. Top with two pecans, and drizzle balsamic reduction on the salad plate around the salad.

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