Nothing beats that cardbox box peach “panier” nostalgia
When I began cooking I always steered away from salads- it was a particularly bad word that made me cringe. Why have a boring salad when I could have a delicious pasta, a savoury fish or a Belle Pro “steamy” ? (I know, you all thought I would say a hearty steak) While a delicious fresh fish on the BBQ will always be my favourite summer meal, this grilled peach, chicken and goat cheese salad comes pretty close to second best. This healthy and hearty salad checks off all the boxes: sweet, savoury, a nice crunch with the almonds and a creamy finish with goat cheese. The best part? It’s so easy to throw together and healthy (but don’t tell anyone, since this is a blog about butter and all/ will ruin my rep).
The summer season in montreal is signaled with the arrival of Ontario peaches in the handheld cardboard “paniers”. The peach season is quite short, lasting only 1-2 months (July to early September) so enjoying them in their prime is a MUST! When looking for the perfect peaches you want a firm peach, anything too soft tends to ripen quickly and no one likes a mushy peach. Colour simply indicates the type of peach so steer steer clear of any green hues. Store the peaches away from direct sunlight, at room temperatures and eat them within a few days of purchase, as they go mushy fairly quickly. Lastly, be gentle to the peaches as they bruise very easily.
- Invest in a handheld little meat thermometer (Cute ones are sold at any local kitchen store and Wal-Marts around you).This takes all the guessing and worrying out of cooking, I swear by it!
- Not as important but a lifesaver when it comes to BBQ’ing is that little spray oil. It helps prevent anything from sticking to the grill racks. This also allows your food to get the perfect grill marks…why else BBQ other than for those angelic lines?! (I use PAM, but any brand will do!)
- I suggest grilling the peaches first to avoid cross- contamination from the raw chicken (we don’t want to go poisoning our friends because of salmonella).
- 3 peaches
- Spring mix lettuce
- ½ cup of toasted slivered almonds
- 125g goat cheese
- 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbl olive oil (1 tbl for chicken, 1 tbl for peaches)
- BBQ Spray or vegetable oil
- Basic Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Preheat BBQ to high heat (350* fahrenheit)
- Prep your mise! Wash peaches and spring mix (it may say pre-washed, but TRUST me…you want to wash it again). Place spring mix in large salad bowl.
- In a small saucepan, toast almonds until golden brown.
- Quarter peaches and toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Coat chicken with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spray BBQ with pam spray or grease with vegetable oil on a paper towel/brush. This prevents the peaches from sticking to the grill and getting those drool worthy grill marks. Grill peaches until slightly charred, 1-2 minutes per side.
- Once peaches are cooked, grill the chicken breast for 4-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 72 °C or 160 °F (This is when that thermomateur comes in handy!)
- Assemble your salad! Toss lettuce with vinaigrette, top with peaches, chicken, goat cheese and almonds. Serve while the peaches and chicken are still hot.