|5 - 10 mins
- 2 - 3 peaches, stones removed and cut in quarters
- 1⁄2 cucumber, sliced into rounds
- A handful of fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil leaves, dill & mint
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper to season
- 200g of grains such as couscous, freekeh, pearl barley
- Cheese - mozzarella, goats cheese or feta teared into small pieces to stir through the salad
For the dressing
- 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove of garlic
- Zest of a lemon
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 100ml olive oil
Cook the grain of choice by following the instructions on the package.
With food processor: Make the dressing first by adding all the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and blitzing to a rough paste. Slowly add the olive oil until the consistency is runny enough to be able to pour.
By hand: grind the pine nuts in a mortar and pestle. Chop the basil leaves and garlic finely and mix in along with the lemon zest and juice until a paste is formed. Finally, stir through the olive oil.
Pour into dressing to a small jug or glass bottle for serving (or if making in advance, store in a sterilised jar in the fridge until ready to use).
Brush each of the peach quarters with olive oil and place flesh side down onto a hot grill, barbeque or griddle pan, searing both sides.
Spoon the cooked grains onto a large serving plate. Add the peaches and cucumber on top, dot pieces of cheese around and then scatter the herbs over. Season with freshly ground pepper before drizzling the pesto dressing over everything. Use salad servers to gently mix together.
Any remaining dressing can be placed on the table alongside the peach salad.
- The pesto dressing can be made in advance and will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
- The grilled peaches and cooked grains can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge.
- You may wish to use a mix of white and yellow peaches or nectarines for this recipe.
- As an alternative to the pesto dressing, keep the flavours simple with just a drizzle of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
- For best results, assemble the salad just before serving. Fresh herbs do have a tendency to wilt, so ensure these are scattered over the salad last minute.