If you’ve never had grilled fruit before, peaches are a perfect introduction; just a few minutes over the coals adds a trace of smoky char that is the perfect complement to their natural sweetness. Put them together with fresh spinach and a crumble of blue cheese and bacon, and you’ve got a salad that is fantastic on its own but also makes a great appetizer before a simple steak dinner.
Recipe courtesy of "Grill It!" by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, copyright 2008. Used by permission of DK Publishing. All rights reserved.
|8 strips bacon||1 tablespoon granulated sugar|
|2 ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted||1 teaspoon chopped garlic|
|2 tablespoons olive oil||3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil|
|2 bunches baby spinach leaves, trimmed, washed, and dried||1/4 cup balsamic vinegar|
|1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese of your choice||1 lime juiced|
|2 tablespoons ketchup||salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste|
|2 tablespoons grainy mustard|
Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium-hot, you’re ready to cook.
On the stove top, cook the bacon in a saute pan over medium heat until crisp (6–8 minutes). Drain off any fat and let the bacon cool until you are able to handle it, then crumble it roughly between your fingers into a small bowl.
Make the dressing: Combine the ketchup, mustard, sugar, and garlic in a blender or food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. When all the oil is incorporated, add the vinegar and lime juice and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Rub the peach halves with oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then put over the coals and grill, cut sides down, until nicely browned (4–5 minutes). Remove from the grill, cut each half into 4 wedges, and transfer to a large bowl, along with the spinach.
Pulse the dressing a few more times to blend; add enough dressing to the peaches and spinach just to moisten (there will probably be some dressing left over), and toss to coat. Arrange the salad on a platter or individual serving plates, sprinkle generously with the blue cheese and bacon, and serve.
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