Summer salad with arugula, peaches, walnuts, and goat cheese (2 dinner salads)

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I'm quickly realizing that the key to a delicious summertime dinner salad is a harmonious combination of cheese, fruit, and nuts. I've posted several different  variations already, and today's feature is no different. For this one, I really just simplified a Vegetarian times recipe by deconstructing the delivery of the goat cheese. If you're trying to impress your fellow diner, by all means, please go through the trouble of grinding up the walnuts and rolling tiny spheres of cheese in them. However, if you're eating with someone you're totally comfortable with and who won't mind you taking the easy route (hooray for marriage!), then take the steps I've listed below.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 5 oz baby arugula
  • balsamic vinaigrette (homemade or bottled)
  • 1 medium peach, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled

Steps:

  1. Toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat until they're fragrant and slightly darker. Allow them to cool, and then roughly chop them.
  2. Meanwhile, place the arugula in a large bowl and pour some dressing over the leaves. Toss to coat. (Remember that you can always add more dressing if you need it, but you can't take it away once it's there!)
  3. Divide the arugula between two plates. Top each plate with half the walnuts, peach slices, and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

And there you go! If you're not a huge fan of arugula, you could substitute half of it for spinach. Personally, I love the zesty, peppery taste of it, and I think it works well with the intense sweetness of the ripe peaches and the creamy tang of the goat cheese. But again, if it's too strong, you can always halve it.