For this grilled avocado and peach salad with goat cheese recipe, ripe peach and creamy avocado slices take on a little char before being tossed with tangy goat cheese, sweet figs, and an easy vinaigrette. It’s an elegant summer meal that’s perfect for al fresco dining.
If you’ve never tried a grilled peach or avocado, this salad is the perfect excuse to do so. When exposed to the smoky heat, the avocado slices become soft and creamy, and the peaches take on a slightly caramelized smoky flavor. Combined with fresh cheese, ripe figs, herbs, and vinaigrette, this becomes a truly spectacular salad.–Angie Zoobkoff
Grilled Avocado and Peach Salad with Goat Cheese FAQs
What is piment d’Espelette?
It’s a pepper grown near the town of Espelette in the Basque region of Southern France. This famous veggie is considered to be so special that it’s even been given a protected designation by the European Union, so that only peppers grown in the Espelette region may be called “piment d’Espelette.” They’re like the champagne of peppers, if you will.
In terms of heat, they’re usually compared to paprika. Piments d’Espelette are known for their dark, slightly smoky flavor which is intensified when the peppers are roasted or seared. If you’re unable to find the dried powder in your local market, you can find it on Amazon.
What should I serve with this salad?
The salad is lovely enough on its own, but we think serving it alongside a cheese and charcuterie board with a fresh baguette and a crisp white wine would make for a magnificent summer evening.
Can I grow an avocado tree from the pit?
Yes! Carefully remove your avocado pit and wash it well – but don’t remove the brown covering. Determine which end is the bottom – that’s where the roots will grow. Poke the seed with three toothpicks and balance them over a glass of water so that just the bottom of the pit is submerged. Place the glass out of direct sunlight.
Once the roots start to grow, things get exciting. When the seedling reaches 6 or 7 inches tall, cut the stem in half. Really. This will encourage more root growth!
Your little baby tree will continue to grow and you’ll soon see leaves and stronger roots. Then it’s time to plant the tree into some soil.
If you live in a tropical climate, you can plant your baby tree outside. If you live in an area that experiences winter each year, pot your tree and keep it indoors or in a greenhouse. Once it’s established, you can start moving it outside during the warmer months.
Grilled Avocado and Peach Salad with Goat Cheese
- Vegetable grilling rack or basket
For the grilled peach salad
- 4 ripe peaches
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling plus 3 tablespoons for the dressing
- 4 ripe but firm avocados
- 2 figs preferably fresh, quartered
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon preferably organic
- 3 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese
For the dressing
- 1 to 2 shallots finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar
- 1 handful toasted almonds roughly chopped
- Assorted fresh herb leaves such as arugula, basil, or oregano
- 1 pinch piment d’Espelette
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Make the grilled peach salad
- Preheat a grill to medium (if you don’t have a lower-heat grill, use a grill pan or skillet).
- Wash the peaches, remove the pits, and cut them, unpeeled, into 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch (2 to 3 cm) wedges. Place in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and gently stir until the slices are coated.
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and skin, and cut each half lengthwise into three slices. Drizzle with olive oil and gently turn to coat evenly.
- Place the peaches and avocado slices on a vegetable grill rack or basket, and grill until charred in places, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Check them regularly to ensure they do not burn.
☞TESTER TIP: If you do not have a vegetable grill rack or basket, grill the peaches and avocados as halves to avoid losing them through the grill grates.
- Arrange the peach and avocado slices with the fig quarters on a serving dish. Sprinkle with the lemon zest. Crumble the goat cheese over the top.
Make the dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk the shallots, 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice together. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.
- Scatter over the almonds and herbs, sprinkle with the piment d’Espelette, and serve.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I loved this plated grilled peach salad so much that I actually made it a second time after seeking my taste testers feedback. To the tasters, my discerning family members, the combination of ingredients and the flavours created by the grilling method were amazing.
I grilled one pan with peaches followed by the same grill pan filled with avocado over 12 minutes. The lemon and tangy goat cheese, the crunch of the nuts, and creamy and charred peaches and avocado, plus the sweetness of the fresh figs and herby greens made for a sensational showstopper platter that easily fed six for brunch and alongside a charcuterie board for dinner.
This grilled avocado and peach salad with goat cheese was a huge hit! I had to read the recipe twice to realize there wasn’t any lettuce in this salad – but it didn’t need it! Such a wonderful combination of flavours.
I used dried figs but I look forward to making this again when I can get some nice fresh figs. I used fresh basil and mint and would highly recommend this combo! Definitely save this recipe for peach season!
If any recipe defines the freshness of the air in summer, it’s this gilled avocado and peach salad with goat cheese. The lightness of the fruit combined with the soft cheese created a beautiful depth of flavour that was highlighted perfectly by the balsamic dressing.
Although I did not have figs handy, I can only imagine that they would have elevated the flavours of this salad even more. When taking a bite of every component together, the explosion of summery flavours and textures in contrast left me reaching for more.
Preparing this dish reminded me of why warm salads hold a superior place in my heart and of why they are a defining food of the summer months. Additionally, it was very simple to prepare, and although I would recommend serving it alongside another dish (in my case, a spicy jerk pork tenderloin), the salad will certainly steal the show as the star of any meal.
Consequently, I would recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone with 45 extra minutes and I know that I would easily make it again. When arranged on a platter, it is perfectly aesthetically pleasing, and yes, it does taste as good as it looks.
Originally published August 15, 2022