Last week on my way back from Atlanta, I stopped at a roadside stand and picked up a basket full of Georgia peaches. Sweet and juicy, they’ve been a great snack for the past few days, and I even grilled a few to serve alongside some cinnamon gelato last week when I had friends over for dinner. So really I haven’t done anything too creative with these peaches so far. Until today.
When I was flipping through my new Southern Living Farmers’ Market Cookbook and spotted this recipe, I knew I needed to make it ASAP. My friend Kathleen recently got in some mozzarella from a creamery in Atlanta, so the combination of Georgia peaches and Georgia cheese was just too good to pass up. And of course, there’s the matter of tequila as an ingredient in the recipe…. how could I not try it?
The photo of this salad in the cookbook and on the website is absolutely gorgeous. Mine didn’t turn out quite as lovely, but I think it’s still a pretty attractive presentation. My dinner guests were impressed, both with the way it looked and the way it tasted, so I deem it a success!
Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Salad
Serves 4. From Southern Living.
5 peaches (not white)
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp tequila
1/3 cup olive oil
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (6-oz.) package baby arugula, thoroughly washed
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 16 (1/4-inch) slices
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut remaining 4 peaches into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting each side just until you reach the pit. Discard pits.)
Process chopped peach, green onions, next 7 ingredients, and, if desired, tequila in a food processor 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth. Add oil, and pulse 3 to 4 times or until thoroughly combined.
Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill*. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Brush both sides of peach rounds with peach dressing.
Grill peach rounds, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Note: you can also use an indoor grill pan to get the grill marks on the peaches. (This is what I did)
Arrange arugula evenly on 4 plates. Alternately layer grilled peach rounds and cheese slices over arugula on each plate. Drizzle with remaining peach dressing. Garnish, if desired.
Perhaps you’re more skilled with a knife than I am and can slice the cheese and peaches as thinly as Southern Living seemed to be able to do. Mine were probably twice as thick as the original recipe directed, but no one else eating knew the difference, so I didn’t fret. Even if yours doesn’t turn out as pretty, don’t you worry either– it’ll still taste great!