Steak Sides: Arugula Peach Marcona Almond Salad with Bleu Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette

Monday, August 20, 2012

This is a recipe I saw Chef Michael Symon do on his show. This is my version, and it was perfect and beautiful and tasted even better in person! It's just wonderfully flavorful -- peppery arugula and tender sweet peaches with spicy red onion, crunchy marcona almonds (!!), and creamy bleu cheese. If you don't like the bleu, substitute it with some goat cheese -- feta, montrachet, or even an aged goat would work quite lovely here. This is a perfect salad for any grilled meat. He served it with a steak, I used pork chops, both are amazing. Chicken too! Make it last second and make a lot of it -- it will go fast!

Arugula Peach Marcona Almond Salad
1 bunch arugula -- about 4 cups (or one container's worth)
2 firm but ripe peaches
1/2 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup marcona almonds
1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled (I like oregon's rogue bleu for this, but you can use your favorite)
course sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Place the arugula in a large salad serving bowl. Take the peaches and gently peel them, then cut them in half and remove the pit. Then slice them into chunks -- not too thinly but not super huge either -- a comfortable bite-sized wedge. Add the peaches to the arugula. Sprinkle the red onion on top and season salad with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the olive oil -- enough to moisten but not drown the salad -- about 2 tablespoon's worth (or to your taste). Sprinkle the almonds and cheese on top, give a very light toss, and serve immediately.

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