Roasted Peach Salad with Mango Mint Vinaigrette

As a youngin’ my mother feared for my lack of domesticity.

I was assigned to do the family’s laundry and I felt like a pair of red shorts could chill with all the whites in the washer and they could work out their differences. When everyone had to suffer through bright pink underwear for the next few months, I began to think about color sorting.

I failed miserable at sewing. Think of the shower scene in Carrie when I accidentally stitched the tip of left pinky onto a pleated skirt.

My first attempt at baking involved a sleepover with my best friend and we were craving some chocolatey brownies in the wee hours of the night. Instead of 1 cup of sugar, we tossed in 1 cup of baking soda…At 2 o’clock in the morning we were bombarded with the loudest BOOM you could imagine as the oven door burst open and thick gooey brownie batter exploded into every crevice of the kitchen.  Shockingly, Mom was less than pleased.

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Even after years of working in restaurants, studying nutritional science, and my love for all things kitchen related, mom still says “I never imagined you would be the cook in the family.” When I served her this salad on a hot July afternoon, I was hoping to make up for my less-than-desirable homemaker attributes.

“Hey ma, look what I can do.”

Roasting these sweet summer peaches with a little honey and fresh lemon juice takes their flavor and sends it through the roof. Grilling the peaches would also be PFT (pretty f*%#ing tasty). Crunchy cold mixed greens, toasted walnuts, and a creamy rich poppy seed vinaigrette made with juicy mango makes for the perfect summer lunch time noms. The mint in the dressing is imperative– it adds a seriously refreshing zing.

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The health benefits of mangos are almost infinite…their high levels of vitamin C and fiber may help bring cholesterol levels down.  They’re also high in antioxidants that may protect against a variety of cancers, and despite being decadently sweet, won’t take your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride.  Nature’s perfect snack (aside from tacos).

Just kidding.

Sort of.

I paired this with a thick pink fillet of wild salmon and it was stupid good.  For all those who raise an eyebrow at a salmon-and-fruit combination, I’ve got a whole army of satisfied tastebuds that really, really beg to differ.

Roasted Peach Salad with Mango Mint Vinaigrette

For le salad:

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups mixed spring greens
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 fresh peaches
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 T honey
  • non stick oil spray

For the dressin’ (makes about 3/4 cup)

  • 1/4 ripe mango
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup olive oil/vegetable oil
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 T minced mint
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 ground black pepper
  1. First roast up them juicy peaches!  Cut them in half, remove the pits, and drizzle with juice from 1/2 a lemon and 1 T of honey.  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and give a light spray with oil.  You can also drizzle a little bit of oil on the sheet and swirl it around with a paper towel.  Decisions, decisions.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tops and edges around the tops begin to darken and shrivel. Don’t let it burn, baby. Grilling these bad boys instead would be amazing, too!
  2. Toast the walnuts (whole- do not chop up) by spreading them out evenly in a single layer on a tin foil covered baking sheet and baking for 5-10 minutes at 325 degrees or until they begin to become a darker brown color and give off a sweet, toasty aroma.  Do not burn! Like, don’t even turn around to pick your nose because I swear in one second they could go from perfectly golden to black and burnt as all hell.
  3. While the oven is gettin some lovin, make the dressing for the salad. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine all ingredients except for the poppy seeds and whirl away until a smooth creamy consistency develops.  If for some reason it’s too thick, add a little water or more lemon juice (if you have more lemon).  If it’s too thin, add some more mango in.  If you don’t know the best (and prettiest) way to cut a mango, Check out this vid.  I have no idea who this dude is but skip to 30 seconds and he will show you the light.
  4. When the dressing is pureed up, stir in the poppy seeds.
  5. Arrange salad greens in a bowl, sprinkle with walnuts, add in roasted peaches, and drizzle with dressing.

 

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