The key to this salad is the grilled peaches. The combination of the caramelized grill marks on the outside and the crisp, sweet fruit inside is fantastic. Combining the farmer’s market fruit with bitter arugula, creamy fior di latte mozzarella and a light moscato vinaigrette makes for a perfect balance of textures, flavors and brilliant color. Moscato vinegar is made from Italian moscato grapes, which are often used to make dessert wine. It is the color of honey and has a sweeter, more floral flavor than traditional white wine vinegar. To finish the salad, I sprinkled flakes of British sea salt and edible wildflowers over the top, which really makes the bright orange color in the peaches pop!
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 8 as a First Course or Side Dish
4 peaches, cut into 6 to 8 slices each
2 large balls fior di latte mozzarella, drained and sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
6 cups baby arugula
1 cup packed basil leaves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup moscato vinegar
¾ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic, grated or finely chopped
¼ cup shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt
Whisk all ingredients except olive oil together in a bowl. Slowly add olive oil, while you whisk. This helps to blend the dressing.
Heat your grill until very hot and then brush generously with olive oil. To get nice X grill marks, place the peaches on the grill with the top of the peach pointing at 10 o’clock and grill for 30 seconds. Lift the peach up and turn top towards 2 o’clock, grilling for 30 seconds. Turn the peach slices over and repeat. Transfer the peaches to a plate to cool slightly.
Put the arugula and basil leaves in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour ½ of the vinaigrette over the greens and toss until lightly coated, and then transfer to a serving platter.
Layer the peaches and mozzarella on top of the arugula and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle the Maldon sea salt and flowers over the salad and serve.