This Fresh Peach and Avocado Salad brings together the perfect combination of textures and flavors in one amazingly delicious dish!
Why We Love This Salad
There are a few things going on here that we’re wild about right now and we think you will love, too. First, the peaches! There’s something about a bite of fresh fruit in a salad and incredible fresh peaches are still popping up at the end of their fruity season. We make the most of them by throwing some on this salad.
Next, hot honey! This tasty little treat is everywhere and is perfect for a vinaigrette. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness and spice to this salad, making it the perfect accompaniment for those peaches. You can find hot honey in so many places now and we encourage you to shop locally! Farmer’s markets and so many of your local shops will carry some. If you are in northern Indiana, Bee Great Local has incredible options!
Candied pecans are a must here for the crunch, another tiny hit of sweetness, and toasty flavor. Make more than you need – you will want some extra for snacking!
Finally, goat cheese. Controversial, perhaps, but its tanginess balances out the peaches and honey so well. If you can find honey goat cheese, it’s even better. Try it – even those goat cheese holdouts will be persuaded that this funky cheese has its place after all.
Making Your Peach and Avocado Salad
The Salad Itself
You all know the drill – wash, chop, and top! Voila! You have an amazing salad!
The details of this one are simple. Start with the pecans because they take the longest and need time to cool before adding them to the salad. Simply combine sugar and your pecans in a pan and heat until the sugar melts and coats the pecans. Stir often so the sugar doesn’t burn. It will get sticky as the sugar cooks and thickens into a caramel. At this point, place the pecans onto a lined sheet pan and bake in the oven to dry it out a bit. In the oven, the pecans will lose their stickiness. Cool, break apart, then use them on your salad or eat them as a snack! Or both!
One you’ve prepped the pecans and chopped your peach and veg, arrange all of your salad ingredients in a serving bowl with the greens at the bottom. Set it aside while you make your dressing.
Hot Honey Vinaigrette
The dressing is also so easy. The recipe makes more than what you will need for this salad. You can cut it in half if you don’t want any extra, but we always like to have this on hand for topping other salads throughout the week. And if you double the dressing, you will have enough to use as a wonderful marinade for chicken!
To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together until fully combined. If you don’t have hot honey, you can use regular honey and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Don’t worry, either way you end up with the tiniest hint of spice and not enough to set even the most sensitive mouth on fire. If it seems too risky, you can omit the red pepper. Your dressing will still be delicious!
The Best Tools for Salads
Having the right tools will make washing the greens and chopping the veggies so much easier. We recommend this salad spinner – you can wash the greens in the basket, then spin them dry in no time. You will never have to fight soggy salad again!
We cannot say enough what a difference having a nice knife makes when you are prepping a salad or pretty much anything else. Here’s a great article on what to look for when shopping for a new knife. Kristen’s fav is this Chef’s knife from Wusthoff. When you have a great chef’s knife, you only need one for most things. It is definitely one of the best investments you can make in the kitchen!
Serving Your Peach and Avocado Salad
This salad is wonderful as a side for grilled chicken, especially if you marinate that chicken in an extra batch of the vinaigrette. Or add shredded chicken to make it into a filling main dish. It will also go well with these entrees:
- Grilled Bone-In Chicken Breasts
- Skirt Steak with an Outstanding Sriracha Kick
- Incredible Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon
Don’t forget dessert! Basically our lifetime mantra! These desserts would all be great follow-ups to your flavorful salad:
- Ginger Peach Crisp with Ginger Whipped Cream
- Soft Cinnamon Almond Cookies
- Summer’s Best Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Fresh Peach and Avocado Salad with Hot Honey Vinaigrette
For the Candied Pecans:
- 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
For the Salad:
- 6 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup diced fresh peach (1 large white or yellow peach)
- 1 cup diced avocado (1 medium avocado)
- 2 tablespoons red onion thinly sliced (about half of one small red onion)
- 2 tablespoons crumbled honey or plain goat cheese
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon hot honey
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Make the Candied Pecans: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the pecans, brown sugar, and water in a small non-stick pan set over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has melted and turns dark golden brown, then remove from the heat and spread the nuts onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Assemble the Salad: While your pecans are cooling, toss the greens, peaches, avocado, and red onion in a large bowl. Place into a serving bowl and top with the cooled pecans and the goat cheese.
- Make the Vinaigrette: In a separate bowl or jar, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, hot honey, salt, and pepper. Serve alongside the salad.
- If you don’t have hot honey, use 1 tablespoon regular honey and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- This will make a lot more dressing than you will likely need for this salad. Store the leftover dressing in a sealed container at room temperature for up to one month. Whisk well before each use.
- If you prefer to dress the salad, add half of the dressing in with the greens, peaches, avocado, and red onion. Toss until everything is lightly coated, adding more of the dressing a little at a time as needed. Then put in the serving bowl and top with your pecans and cheese. Serve immediately.
- To make this a vegan salad, simply omit the cheese or use a vegan alternative.