Arugula Peach Salad with Basil Dressing
An easy summer arugula peach salad with a zesty basil dressing that perfectly complements the sweet, juicy peaches.
Why Make this Recipe
You will love this Arugula Peach Salad with Basil Vinaigrette for a light summer meal or side salad. This creation features peppery arugula and sweet, juicy peaches for a vibrant and delicious seasonal dish.
The recipe is vegan, gluten-free and can be nut-free, so works well if you have dietary restrictions to consider, plus it’s easily customizable with swaps and add-ins.
Along with the arugula and peach, you’ll find corn, almonds and pickled shallots for plenty of flavours and textures. The basil dressing elevates the salad, adding a burst of freshness that pulls everything together.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s perfect for summer BBQs and get-togethers and is sure to a hit with your guests and the whole family!
This section provides notes on ingredients and substitutions. Please see the recipe card at the end for the complete list.
- Shallot: Red onion works as as substitute.
- Vinegar: I used red wine vinegar for the shallots and white wine vinegar. These are interchangeable. You can also use regular white vinegar for the shallots and apple cider vinegar for the dressing.
- Sugar: You’ll need just a bit of sugar for pickling the shallots. White sugar works best.
- Olive Oil: A good quality extra-virgin olive oil is best for the dressing.
- Maple Syrup: Honey or agave syrup also work.
- Dijon Mustard: Any Dijon or whole grain mustard works.
- Basil: You’ll need fresh basil. If you have extra, you can use it as a topping for the salad.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best in the dressing but you can substitute 1 tsp garlic powder if that’s all you have.
- Baby Arugula: Also known as rocket. This salad also works with baby spinach or a mix of baby spinach and arugula.
- Peaches: Use fresh, just ripe peaches. You don’t want them over ripe or they’ll be mushy. You can also just nectarine.
- Corn: You can use canned, frozen or fresh off the cob corn. Try grilling the corn first for extra flavour.
- Almonds: I used slivered almonds. Sliced (flaked) almonds or chopped whole almodns also work. For nut-free, you can use pepitas or sunflower seeds. Otherwise, substitute any nuts you enjoy, such as walnuts, pecans, pine nuts or pistachios.
Variations & Additions
- Arugula Pear Salad: Swap the peach for two thinly sliced ripe pears.
- Grilled Peach Salad: Cut the peaches in half and grill until lightly charred. Cool until you can handle, then slice and add to the salad.
- Candied Pecans or Walnuts: Cook walnuts or pecans in a skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil and 2 tbsp brown or coconut sugar. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool and use instead of the toasted walnuts.
- Alternative Dressings:
- Cheese: Serve topped with feta cheese, parmesan or goat cheese.
- Crunchy homemade or store-bought croutons would be good.
- Quinoa: For a heartier salad and to add more protein, add 1 cup cooked quinoa or chickpeas.
- For a Fall variation, swap the peach for roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
- Extra Veggies: Add up to 1 cup sliced cucumber or cherry tomatoes. Grilled zucchini or bell peppers would also be good.
- Fruit: Add up to 1 cup fresh blueberries, strawberries or rasps-berries or swap them for the peach to make a berry salad. Avocado would also be nice.
Make the Pickled Shallots
Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to a heat-proof container and then add 1/3 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. You can also bring this mixture to a boil in a small pot on the stovetop, then add the shallots.
Add the sliced shallots, stir and set aside for at least 15 minutes to “pickle”. Drain them before adding to the salad.
Combine the Dressing
Add all of the dressing ingredients to a container or mason jar and whisk or shake until fully combined.
Toast the Almonds
Add the almonds to a skillet and toast over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned, shaking the pan occasionally.
Toss Arugula and Dressing
Add the arugula to a mixing bowl with about half of the dressing and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Add Remaining Ingredients
Add the peaches, shallot, almonds, corn and remaining dressing and gently toss. Serve and enjoy.
Yes, you can prepare the toasted almonds, pickled shallots and dressing in advance. However, it’s best to wait until just before serving to combine the arugula, peaches, corn, almonds, and dressing. This will ensure that the salad stays fresh and crisp.
Absolutely! If you’re not a fan of arugula, you can substitute it with baby spinach or mixed greens. The choice of leafy green can alter the flavor profile slightly, but it will still pair well with the other ingredients.
Absolutely! You can add protein sources like crispy tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, or lentils to make the salad more filling and nutritious. These additions will enhance the salad’s satiety value and provide a balanced meal.
Of course! If you have nut allergies or prefer not to include them, feel free to omit the almonds or substitute them with seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a similar crunchy texture.
Storing & Prep
- The dressing can be made 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge.
- The shallots can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Feel free to make extra and store for other uses like tacos or avocado toast.
- The toasted almonds can be made in advance and stored in a container at room temperature after they’ve completely cooled.
- Don’t toss the salad with the dressing until you’re ready to serve.
- If you do have leftover salad, it can be stored in the fridge for a day just note the arugula will get soggy.
- The salad makes 4 meal-sized servings or 6-8 side salads so consider cutting it in half if you’re only serving 2 people.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
A simple summer salad with arugula (rocket), peaches, corn, almonds, shallot and zesty basil dressing
For the Pickled Shallots
- 1 medium or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced (75 g)
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup water
For The Basil Dressing
- ¼ cup (60 g) olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp (15 g) maple syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, grated or crushed
- salt and pepper
For the Arugula Salad
- 5 ounces (145 g) baby arugula or a mix of arugula and baby spinach
- 2 peaches, pitted and cut into ¼-inch slices (250 g, about 2 cups sliced)
- ½ cup corn kernels (75 g)
- ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds (28 g)
- Make Pickled Shallots: Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to a heat-proof bowl or glass measuring up. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the sliced shallots and stir. Set aside to pickle for at least 15 minutes. You can also bring the sugar, vinegar, water and salt to a simmer in a small pot on the stovetop to dissolve the sugar, then stir off the heat and stir in the shallots.
- Make Dressing: In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, add oil, vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk to combine. Alternatively, you could shake ingredients in a mason jar.
- Toast Almonds: Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, add almonds. Toast for 5-8 mins, tossing occasionally, until golden-brown.
- Toss Salad & Serve: Add arugula to a large bowl. Drizzle half the dressing over top. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Drain pickled shallots, then scatter over top. Top with peaches, corn and toasted almonds. Drizzle remaining dressing over top, then toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately.
Do not toss salad with dressing until ready to serve. Dressing can be a made 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge. Shallots can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
Salad can be topped with more fresh basil, if desired.
Goat cheese, feta or avocado make a good topping for this salad.
Almonds can be substituted with pecans, walnuts or pine nuts. For nut-free, use pepitas or sunflower seeds.
Keywords: peach arugula salad, summer peach salad