Balsamic Peach Arugula Salad
I love a salad that perfectly balances sweet and savory. This Balsamic Peach Arugula Salad does just that. Roasted peaches, asparagus, and red onion top peppery arugula along with creamy goat cheese and crunchy pistachios. A drizzle of homemade balsamic reduction makes this salad an absolute delight.
Update: This recipe was originally published in 2019 and has been republished with all new photos.
The key to this incredible bowl of veggie goodness is the roasted peaches. You can use fresh peaches if they’re in season or go with frozen peach slices. Roasting them with a little ghee or butter and balsamic vinegar brings out their sweetness. So we can absolutely enjoy this even when peaches are out of season (or just so dang pricey)!
Asparagus and thinly sliced red onion goes onto a baking sheet along with the peaches.
Once everything is beautifully roasted just add it all to a bed of arugula along with pistachios, goat cheese, and a drizzle of a simple balsamic reduction.
If you’ve never made a balsamic reduction before you’re in for a treat. Most recipes will include sugar but you absolutely do not need it. Balsamic vinegar sweetens on its own as it thickens. What you’re left with is a shiny reduction that dresses up any dish. (I also use it in my Healthy Bruschetta Chicken.)
I love this salad as an entree because it makes a spectacular lunch or light dinner. Of course it also could be served up as a side.
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Peaches (fresh or frozen)
- Red onion
- Ghee or butter
- Olive oil
- Goat cheese (can omit)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Can this salad be dairy free and Whole30?
Yes, just omit the goat cheese and use a vegan butter.
What other cheese can you use?
I love goat cheese here but feta, shaved parmesan, and blue cheese all work in this salad too.
Frozen vs Fresh peach slices
I have tested this recipe using both fresh and frozen peach slices so feel free to use either. This was really important to me because I want this salad to be accessible no matter what time of year it is. Another great benefit of using frozen peaches is that they’re sure to be ripe so you’ll get the sweetness we want. But again, use either.
How to make a perfect balsamic reduction
Add one cup balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium. You should see bubbling along the outside of your pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally as vinegar begins to thicken and coat the spoon. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. It will thicken a bit more as it sits and you’ll end up with around 1/4 cup of balsamic glaze. That 1/4 cup packs a lot of flavor so it doesn’t take much to really make the salad wow.
It’s important that you see those bubbles as your balsamic vinegar is cooking. If you’re not seeing the bubbles then you need to increase the heat because your vinegar is not reducing.
How to serve this
This salad can be a lovely light entree as is or add chicken for more protein. You can also get four side salads out of this recipe.
More recipes like this:
Balsamic Peach Arugula Salad
Roasted Balsamic Peaches
- 12 – 15 frozen or fresh peach slices
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp ghee or butter, melted, can use a vegan butter too
Veggies + Pistachios + Cheese
- 15 – 20 thin stalks of asparagus
- 3 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
- 4 oz arugula
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
- 2 oz goat cheese, can omit completely or use feta, blue cheese, or shaved parmesan
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread peach slices on half of a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Leave room to add your asparagus later. Drizzle melted ghee or butter and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar over the peaches. Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Carefully flip peach slices. You should see some good caramelization already starting.
- Spread asparagus on remaining side of baking sheet. Lay red onion on top of the asparagus. Drizzle 1 tsp olive oil over the asparagus and red onion. Liberally salt and pepper. Bake peaches, asparagus, and red onion for 10 minutes. (I recommend using thin stalks of asparagus for this salad but if you only have thicker stalks you’ll want to increase your baking time here to around 12 minutes.)
- While everything is in the oven prepare your balsamic glaze. Add 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium. You should see bubbling along the outside of your pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally as vinegar begins to thicken and coat the spoon. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. It will thicken a bit more as it sits and you’ll end up with around 1/4 cup of balsamic glaze.
- Let's assemble the salad! Divide your arugula into bowls. Toss with remaining 2 tsp olive oil. Salt and pepper. Add asparagus, red onion, goat cheese, and peaches to each dish. Drizzle balsamic glaze over top. Sprinkle pistachios.