Grilled Peach Panzanella with Almond Essence Vinaigrette | Wine Enthusiast
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Grilled Peach Panzanella

Grilled Peach Panzanella with Almond Essence Vinaigrette

Courtesy Julia Sherman, Salad For President

Each entry in Julia Sherman’s Salad for President blog is a collaboration with an artist, musician or other creative person. Their dialogue becomes a springboard for recipes, events and installations. All this will be showcased in a cookbook scheduled for release in 2017. This recipe is a clever salad take on the classic dessert pairing of peach and almond.

“The flavor of peak-season peaches is amplified on the grill,” says Sherman. “Their sugars caramelize and their juices run to make a sweet and tangy marinade for crusty chunks of sourdough.”


¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced shallot
1 pound small ripe yellow peaches, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 sandwich-sized slices crusty sourdough bread, 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons fresh roughly torn purple basil (can substitute green Genovese basil)


Whisk almond extract, vinegar and shallot in small bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, toss peaches with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle or brush oil on each side of bread slices. Season with salt and pepper.

On a hot-oiled grill*, arrange bread on outer edges. Place peaches cut-side-down in center. Set aside bowl, retaining liquid. Grill bread for 1 minute on each side, until lightly toasted. Grill peaches until bottoms are caramelized and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes. Cut toast into 1-inch cubes. Add to peach bowl, along with any crumbs. Slice peach halves into quarters. Add to peach bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to almond-vinegar-shallot mixture slowly, whisking to emulsify. Drizzle dressing over peaches and bread. Let marinate 5–10 minutes.

Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Toss lightly with basil, and serve. Serves 2.

*Bread and peaches can also be broiled in the oven or cooked in a grill pan.

Pair It

Ca’ del Bosco NV Cuveé Prestige Rosé Brut (Franciacorta); $60, 91 points. Aromas of wild berry, bread dough and crushed aromatic herb carry on to the silky savory palate together with tangerine, pomegranate and peach. Tangy acidity and a foaming mousse provide freshness and finesse. —Kerin O’Keefe

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