Grilled Peach Salad with Corn
on Jul 25, 2022
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This grilled peach salad is a must-make for peak summer with grilled corn, tomatoes, quinoa, pecorino and arugula all tossed in white balsamic vinaigrette.
Table of Contents
There are certain things you wouldn’t necessarily expect to get better with grilling, but they actually do. Peaches are high on that list. When stone fruit season rolls around, I am all in. Half the time that’s just slicing and snacking, but for the rest of it, I am throwing fruit into salads. Besides berries, stone fruit is wonderful mixed with greens and vinaigrette.
While raw peaches are always fantastic, grilling adds something smoky to the naturally sweet flavors of the fruit. You get this sweet and savory combination with the addition of grilled corn, arugula, quinoa and cherry tomatoes.
It all somehow works together. I like to think of this as a big summer salad that celebrates ingredients that are grilled and others that are left fresh. This is a salad that you will keep coming back to every July and August when you’re attempting to eat your way through the season before it’s over.
Tips for Grilling Peaches
Oil the grill grates. This is important to prevent sticking especially with fruit. When the natural sugars caramelize, fruit has a tendency to get stuck. Then when you use too much force to flip the peaches or pull them off the grill, you may destroy the slices. Also, before you oil the grates, use a grill brush to quickly clean them.
Don’t slice the peaches too thin. My rule is to take a peach and slice it into 6 equal wedges. If you go too thin, they will be more likely to burn. On the other hand, you don’t want sections that are so wide they miss out on grilled flavor on each cut side. That’s why I go for 6.
Keep an eye on the fruit on the grill. The point of grilling peaches is to get grill marks and a little char. This happens pretty fast, just a minute or 2 on each side. So don’t lose track of time.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Peaches: A good peach should feel heavy for its size when you have it in your hand. Don’t use peaches that are too soft and ripe because they won’t slice as easily into clean wedges. And yes, you can swap them for nectarines.
- Corn is an important supporting player in the salad. And how can you not love peaches and corn together!? Looks for ears that are tightly wrapped in their husks. That’s a reliable sign that they are fresh.
- Arugula: These leaves are peppery and a tasty contrast for salads that have fruit. Baby spinach is another option.
- Cooked quinoa is my go-to grain in the salad. This is such a simple way to use leftover cooked grains. Don’t hesitate to use barley, farro or rice.
- Tomatoes: Small tomatoes like grape or cherry tomatoes, halved, are the right size, and they hold their shape when they’re tossed with the greens.
- Pecorino is a hard sheep’s milk cheese from Italy. It’s a kind of salty and stronger than Parmesan. But you if you want to swap it out, go for Parmesan cheese instead.
- Chives: These fresh herbs add a nice light onion flavor. You can add torn basil leaves or mint leaves too.
- White balsamic vinegar still gives you that great balsamic taste, but it’s lighter in color and flavor. I love it for summer salads. If you can’t find it, try white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.
- Dijon mustard helps keep the oil and vinegar combined in the vinaigrette.
- Olive oil: For salad dressing, always use high quality extra-virgin olive oil.
- Salt & pepper season the vinaigrette.
How To Make This Grilled Peach Salad
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat. Oil the grates.
1. Rub the peaches and corn with olive oil.
2. Grill the peaches and corn. The peaches will only take 1-2 minutes on each side before grill marks appear. Grill the corn turning it every so often until it’s lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Slice the kernels off the ears of corn. Give the corn a few minutes to cool, so it’s not too hot to handle when you do this.
4. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. That includes the corn, arugula, quinoa, tomatoes, pecorino and chives. Since the peach wedges are heavier, I hold off on tossing them into the salad.
5. Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad and toss to combine.
7. Put the salad into a serving dish and add the grilled peaches.
Try this peach salad recipe for lunch or dinner. Quinoa makes it more filling. You can also add grilled, rotisserie or roasted chicken, grilled shrimp or baked tofu to really turn it into an entree salad.
If you are doing meal prep or are planning to have leftovers, do not toss the entire salad in the vinaigrette. I recommend storing the vinaigrette in a mason jar in the fridge. Then put the salad in a separate airtight container. I will stack up the peaches on one side of the container with the greens and everything else on the other side. That’s because I don’t want to squash and wilt the arugula.
More Peach and Corn Salad Recipes
When you grill peaches, you don’t want them to be too ripe. If the peaches are too soft, they are more difficult to cut into wedges and will be more likely to fall apart. Also, very ripe peaches will have more natural sugars and tend to burn.
Yes. Grilling peaches does soften them. And since you don’t want to grill stone fruit that’s too ripe, grilling will make them more tender and add flavor.
Leftover grilled peaches will last 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can use a stovetop grill pan to cook peach wedges over medium-high heat. They will take about 2 minutes per side.
Let me know if you decide to grill peaches for your next salad. Please leave a comment and rating below. Thanks!
Grilled Peach, Corn and Quinoa Salad
- For salad
- 3 peaches pitted and each cut into 6 wedges
- 2 ears corn
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup shaved pecorino cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- For vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat. Oil the grates.
- Rub the peaches and corn with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
- Grill the peaches until they have grill marks, about 1-2 minutes per side. Also, grill the corn, turning occasionally until lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes.
- Let the corn cool slightly before slicing off the kernels.
- In a large bowl, combine the corn, arugula, quinoa, tomatoes, pecorino and chives.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing into the salad, tossing to combine.
- Arrange the salad on a serving plate or in a bowl and top with grilled peaches.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.