Have you had your fair share of peaches this summer? I certainly have not. I’m remedying that with my friend Erin Clarke’s vibrant peach, avocado and arugula salad. Erin rounds out the flavors with salty gorgonzola cheese, crisp toasted almonds, and a zippy lemon dressing.
This simple summer salad is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a combination I wouldn’t have come up with on my own, and it’s so lovely. I couldn’t stop going back for more.
Perhaps you know Erin from her blog, Well Plated. Erin has been working hard on her first cookbook for several years now, and I’m so excited to share that it’s finally here! The Well Plated Cookbook (affiliate link) offers over 130 fast, healthy recipes you’ll want to eat.
I found this colorful salad on page 116, titled, “Book Club Salad (A Great, Green Party Salad).” Erin’s headnotes are witty, warm and encouraging, just like she is in real life. Here’s what she had to say about this recipe:
“My friend Erika once brought this salad to our monthly book club, and now, five years later, we still won’t let her bring anything else. We refer to it as ‘The Salad,’ and its presence at the table is more mandatory than actually reading the book. This stellar green salad is sized for a crowd, tastes better than any salad I’ve eaten in a restaurant, and is beautiful and adaptable for the seasons…”
She inspired me not only to make ‘The Salad,’ but to join a book club when we’re able to get together again. In the meantime, this salad recipe is easily halved and perfectly suited for any summer dinner.
The Well Plated Cookbook is filled to the brim with wholesome, satisfying recipes that have been thoughtfully crafted and meticulously tested. Erin ensures you’re never left with a random half-cup of leftover beans and guides you to adjust the recipes to suit your season or pantry.
Erin offers chapters from breakfast through dessert, with an emphasis on main dishes. While the book isn’t designed to be vegetarian, I found a number of enticing options. Midwesterners will appreciate her healthy spins on classic dishes, and everyone will find something new to enjoy.
Check it out, and let us know how your salad turns out in the comments!
Craving more fresh summer salads? Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Best Panzanella Salad
- Colorful Strawberry Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Fattoush Salad with Mint Dressing
- Heirloom Caprese Salad
- Watermelon Salad with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
Erin’s Peach & Avocado Green Salad
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 side salads 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
This summer salad recipe from The Well Plated Cookbook features ripe peaches and avocado over fresh arugula. It’s healthy and delicious! Recipe yields a very large salad (enough for 8 side salads or 3 to 4 main salads); cut the recipe in half for a smaller crowd.
- ½ small red onion, very thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
- 10 to 12 ounces baby arugula (12 to 15 lightly packed cups)
- 2 medium ripe peaches or nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced, peels on or off (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium ripe avocados, diced (about 2 cups)
- ⅔ cup unsalted sliced almonds
- ⅔ cup crumbled mild blue cheese*, such as gorgonzola (about 3 ½ ounces)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt or a heaping ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Make the salad: Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with water. Let it rest while you prepare the rest of the salad. (This will keep the flavor of the onion but remove some of the harsh after-bite.) Place the arugula in a large serving bowl.
- To toast the almonds, place them in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently (careful, they can burn), until the almonds are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients (the oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper).
- Drizzle half of the dressing over the greens, then toss to coat. Drain the red onion, then scatter it over the arugula. Top with the peaches, avocados, almonds and cheese. Just before serving, drizzle on a bit more dressing and give it a final, gentle toss to combine. Enjoy, with additional dressing as desired.
This recipe comes from The Well Plated Cookbook by Erin Clarke, with permission.
*Blue cheese alternative: If you don’t enjoy blue cheese, I think your next best bet would be goat cheese. Feta might be nice, too.
Change it up: Erin says, “This salad is a delightful base for seasonal swaps. In the fall and winter, replace the peaches and almonds with thinly sliced apples and walnuts. In the spring and early summer, try a mix of sliced strawberries and pecans.”
Storage suggestions: This salad tastes best the day it is made. Erin says that if you don’t mind slightly wilted arugula, it can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 additional days. Wake up the leftovers with an extra squeeze of lemon juice.