Grilled Peach and Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

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I admit that I have an addiction to u-pick farms. I saw the website for Sauvie Island Farms proclaiming the availability of the first Early Red Haven peaches of the season, and I had to go and pick 8 lbs of them, which have become peach ice cream, peach-thyme bellinis, and this grilled peach salad, respectively. 

This was dinner a few nights ago, and it was a very refreshing and tasty summer salad.  It’s also a very easy salad to customize as the seasons (or your tastebuds!) change. The only recipe I really followed was for the vinaigrette. So take my salad ‘recipe’ as really just a rough outline and do with it what you will. I ended up with about half of the vinaigrette left over, so I’d say the dressing is enough for 4 large dinner salads, but the rest of the ingredients and the 1 bag of salad are enough for 2 hungry adults. I don’t have a grill (yet), so I used a grill pan over medium heat and lightly sprayed it with nonstick spray. I still got the pretty char marks on the peaches, and they came off the pan without falling apart, yay me!

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1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons chopped shallot

1 teaspoon honey

Puree 1/2 cup raspberries, oil, vinegar, shallot, and honey in blender. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

For salad:

3 small peaches

1 bag butter lettuce or your favorite salad greens

½ cup raspberries

2-3 Tablespoons chopped roasted hazelnuts (another Oregon staple! I love Freddy Guys- order online or buy in person at the PSU Farmer’s Market or several local grocery stores)

1 cup shredded roasted chicken

goat cheese, to taste

salt and pepper

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Remove from the pan and let them cool a bit while you compose your salad:

In a large mixing bowl, add the butter lettuce (5 oz bag or the assorted lettuce lovingly harvested leaf by tiny leaf that morning from your back 40 acres, if that’s your thing) and toss with some of the vinaigrette- start with a little less than half, as you can always add more but can’t as easily take away.

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Arrange the dressed lettuce on two dinner plates. Top each with a sprinkle of goat cheese, the chopped roasted hazelnuts, 1/2 cup roasted chicken, 1/2 of the grilled peaches, and 1/2 of the raspberries.

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Enjoy!