Grilled Peach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Blue Cheese and Honey Balsamic Syrup

I’m starting to come around on salads. Historically, I haven’t been much of a salad person but this summer we’ve been enjoying them for dinner at least once a week. Salads, I’ve finally realized, hold more possibilities than just convenient leafy receptacles for all the items I’m looking to clear from the refrigerator crisper.

I spent a bit of time conceptualizing today’s Grilled Peach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Blue Cheese and Honey Balsamic Syrup, debating in my mind between toasted and candied pecans, blue cheese or goat cheese, arugula or no arugula. I was really happy with how it all materialized on the plate. I caramelized sweet, juicy peaches on a hot panini grill, then arranged them over a bed of mildly peppery baby arugula, filled them with a few dabs (not too much!) of tangy, creamy Point Reyes Original Blue and a smattering of toasted pecans and finally drizzled them with honey balsamic syrup.

Yes, I think I can definitely get used to salads. 🙂

Grilled Peach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Blue Cheese and Honey Balsamic Syrup


Grilled Peach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Blue Cheese and Honey Balsamic Syrup

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes until they are aromatic. Set them aside to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the honey, balsamic vinegar, thyme, black pepper and salt over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the honey and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the honey balsamic syrup cool a bit – it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. Preheat the panini grill to high heat.
  4. Brush a little melted butter on the cut sides of the peaches. Place the peaches on the grill, cut side down. Close the lid so that the upper grates are hovering just above the peaches or just very lightly touching them. Grill the peaches until they are softened and grill marks appear, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Arrange the peaches cut side up over a bed of arugula on a serving platter. Top with toasted pecans and blue cheese and drizzle with honey balsamic syrup.



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Jeanette wrote:

    What a pretty salad, love the combination of sweet grilled fruit, salty blue cheese, crunchy pecans, and tangy balsamic syrup!

    Posted 8.14.11 Reply
  2. bellini wrote:

    I could easily get used to this salad every day as well.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  3. We just had a similar dish at a local restaurant. It was fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  4. This salad is like summer on a plate – love it!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  5. Yum, Kathy! This is a DELICIOUS looking salad! Peaches are so fabulous this time of year in the northeast, I’ll have to make this!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  6. Jan wrote:

    This looks fantastic! I love adding fruit to salads because it makes them so much yummier! Love the dried thyme in the dressing 🙂

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  7. I think you could win anyone over on salads with this combination!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  8. That is a beautiful salad! Wish we could get decent peaches here.

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Susan, the beautiful mangoes, guavas, passion fruits and papayas you have in your midst more than make up for the peaches! 🙂

      Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  9. This salad look so elegant and delicious!

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  10. All I’m missing is the grill, dang it! I have to think of something…. 🙂

    Posted 8.15.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      You could try roasting!

      Posted 8.15.11 Reply
  11. beautiful!! What a fun salad 🙂

    Posted 8.16.11 Reply
  12. Marla wrote:

    Such a pretty salad Kathy!

    Posted 8.16.11 Reply
  13. Shelby wrote:

    I’ve been trying to embrace salads, lately, and this will definitely help the cause! I’d definitely opt for first cheese though… I could never get used to blue cheeses’ taste of rubbing alcohol and feet 🙂

    Posted 8.16.11 Reply
  14. patsy wrote:

    What a visually appealing salad! I love a really good salad with different textures and flavors… they are so much more satisfying.

    Posted 8.17.11 Reply
  15. Great to meet you at BlogHer ’11 Kathy! I’m a humor blogger but also enjoy blogging about food. I think your peach salad recipe is next on my list! Yum! Thought you might enjoy my latest post about my husband’s garden 🙂
    Hope to stay connected via twitter

    Posted 8.22.11 Reply
  16. Eliana wrote:

    This salad almost looks too good to eat. Love that you used arugula for the greens. It’s peppery flavor makes me want to do a happy dance every time I have it.

    Posted 8.23.11 Reply
  17. Yuri wrote:

    I am so curious about this dish I’m gonna have to make it soon. Grilled peaches and pecans… heaven. Looks great!

    Posted 8.25.11 Reply
  18. Julia wrote:

    I LOVE salads, glad you’re comin around 😉 What a beauty too!

    Posted 8.31.11 Reply
  19. This is a salad I could dig into. Arugula is on the shopping list. I need to make this before the fresh peaches disappear from the Farmer;s Market.

    Posted 9.15.11 Reply
  20. Kristen wrote:

    I adore grilled peaches but we always have them for dessert. I never once thought to include them on a salad. What a great idea!

    Posted 9.26.11 Reply