Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Here at Cook Smarts, we don’t really have a sweet tooth. That doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy a fresh-baked cookie or an ice cream cone once in awhile, but for the most part, we’re not too big on sweets and desserts. If we were to have dessert, our choice would be a nice bowl of fresh, perfectly ripened fruit.
Not only is fruit healthier, it’s also not as sweet as a slice of fudgy chocolate cake. We love the balance of sweetness and tartness that most fruits have, especially with all the wonderful summer fruits out now – peaches, plums, strawberries, nectarines, blackberries, apricots…
Just thinking about them makes us want some right now! And that’s another great thing about fruit – because it’s not heavily laden with sugar, fruit also makes the perfect snack for in-between meal times. (Yes, we are snackers here!)
That made us think, ”Why stop there?” We love fruit after dinner, we enjoy it as a snack, and it’s perfect for breakfast…why not have it for lunch or dinner? We’re not talking about dishes like Lemon-Garlic Salmon or Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Balsamic Sauce. Those meals are just as delicious, and fruits go hand-in-hand with meats, whether they enhance the flavor of meat or help to balance it out.
We’re thinking that it’s time for fruits to be the star of the show. Or at least an absolutely stand-out side dish. (Because when BBQ Chicken is on the menu, you can’t really top that!) And because it’s grill season, what better way to appreciate summer fruits than throwing them on the grill?
With a sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette to enhance the flavor of peaches, not only is this side dish bursting with sweet and tart flavors, these grilled peaches are quick to make. Cooked at high heat, this tasty side is done once you see the nice, black crosshatches.
A little smoky, juicy and sweet with the perfect touch of tartness, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette…these peaches are not easy to forget, as they will be on your grill menus all summer long.
For More Smarts:
Vinaigrette can be used for many things, not just as salad dressings. To save on time, use the same vinaigrette and split it between the entree and the side. The balsamic vinaigrette for these peaches is amazing on our Grilled Pork Chops. So make once and use twice!
(Depending on how much dressing you like on your food, you could always make more vinaigrette. We find that the recipe below is a good amount to marinate the peaches and the pork chops!)
Check out our tips on how to use an outdoor gas grill to get the best flavors of summer:
How to Use a Gas Grill
Learn how to use a gas grill in this grilling guide.
Vinaigrettes are quick to make and add flavor to salads, meats, and fruit. With a basic formula, you can easily switch up your vinaigrettes. Here’s how:
How to Make a Vinaigrette
Vinaigrettes are a wonderful way to dress up not just salads, but proteins and vegetables too, and they're very easy to make.
- Balsamic vinegar - 2 1/2 tbsp
- Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
- Jam or jelly - 2 tsp (Any fruit jam will work)
- Mild-flavored oil - 1/4 cup (Like grapeseed, avocado, vegetable)
- Peaches - 4, halved or quartered (Use riper peaches for easier grilling and slicing)
- Make balsamic vinaigrette – Mix together balsamic, Dijon, and jam. Whisk in oil until you get a smooth sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Peaches – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Brush peaches with some vinaigrette.
- For outdoor grill: Preheat grill to 500 degrees to get the grates nice and hot. Once grill hits 500, turn down the burners on one part of the grill, and add peaches to the hottest part of the grill. Grill for ~3 minutes and then rotate 45 degrees and grill for another 2 minutes to get some cross-hatched grill marks. Remove from grill.
- Stovetop: Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add peaches and sear and caramelize for ~5 minutes, adjusting midway through so that all exposed sides get some heat. Remove and set aside.
- Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over peaches, and enjoy with other BBQ favorites. (If there’s enough vinaigrette leftover, drizzle over grilled meats or toss with a salad.