Fresh Peach Arugula Salad with Vinaigrette
Ready within 15 minutes, this fresh peach and arugula salad is the perfect quick and easy summer salad recipe. Zero cooking + minimal ingredients absolutely screams summer! Filled with fresh flavours, nourishing ingredients, plus a kick from a coriander and chile vinaigrette.
Salad season is the best season…and not just because I’m a registered dietitian trying to get you to eat more plants with her cookbooks. I’m an absolute salad fanatic and could eat one every single day. And there is nothing better than a summer salad recipe, when produce is at its peak. While I do eat salads year round, I double down in the summer, whether it’s a vegan pasta salad recipe, one of those perfect salads for a picnic or a fruit forward salad like this peach arugula salad.
I don’t create a lot of simple side dish salads so I thought I would make something to celebrate the perfection of summer fresh peaches and keep it light, bright and flavourful so you can enjoy it with whatever main dish you prefer. I would love this with some simple grilled tofu, or you could kick it up a notch with my creamy buffalo white bean burgers.
Fresh Peach Arugula Salad Ingredients
This fresh peach and arugula salad is vegan, naturally gluten free, and has just 4 main ingredients. The vinaigrette comes together with basic pantry staples (you might need to buy a chile!) and in less than 15 minutes, you’ll have a fresh salad with zero cooking.
Peaches: get local, ripe peaches if you can for the most flavour! Once ripe, move peaches to the fridge to preserve them at their peak.
Arugula: I like baby arugula here, it’s got a gentle peppery bite that compliments the sweetness of the peaches. Arugula is also a cruciferous veggie like its cousins kale, collards, and watercress, meaning it has plenty of powerful sulfur-based phytochemicals that support an anti-inflammatory dietary pattern.
Red onion: onions are powerful plant foods, packed with antioxidants and fermentable carbohydrates that feed your gut microbiome.
Avocado: avocado adds a creamy depth to the salad but also offers plenty of healthy fats, vitamin E and fibre to this salad to make it even more satisfying.
Health Benefits of Peaches
Summer fruits feel like luxury…so we can forget that they’re also super nourishing to our body (BONUS!) Here are just a few of the nutritional benefits of peaches:
- They contain vitamins A + C, important for supporting collagen production in the skin as well as energizing minerals, copper and manganese.
- They contain about 2 grams of fibre, both soluble and insoluble, and fermentable carbohydrates to boost digestion and the gut microbiome…take note: they contain FODMAPS so they aren’t suitable for a low FODMAP dietary approach!
- Peaches boast plenty of naturally occurring phytochemicals like carotenoids, caffeic acid, lutein, and zeaxanthin which clean up oxidative damage and help moderate inflammation.
Health Benefits of Arugula
I feel like arugula gets overlooked for it’s more popular friends, kale and spinach. But the peppery bite of arugula is a refreshing change from those greens, which are a bit earthier. And arugula is a nutrient-dense green that deserves more of a starring role on your plate!
- Arugula, like kale, is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it contains sulfur-based phytochemicals that are anti-inflammatory. In fact, where arugula shines is in the phytochemicals, like lutein and zeaxanthin to protect your eyes.
- Two cups of raw arugula contains small amounts of vegan calcium, about 70mg, as well as plant-based iron, bone-building magnesium and heart healthy potassium.
- Arugula also contains vitamin A carotenoids for immune and skin health, vitamin K for bone and circulatory health, plus small amounts of folate and choline, an important nutrient on plant-based diets.
Vegan Peach Arugula Salad Storage, Tips + Substitutions
- This salad is super quick to whip up but you can absolutely make the vinaigrette ahead of time and keep it for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- If you think you’ll be storing leftovers, note that dressed arugula doesn’t hold up very well so I recommend serving it with dressing on the side. You can also give the avocado and peaches a quick toss in lemon juice to help prevent browning if the salad will sit out on a buffet for a while.
- If you don’t have peaches on hand, this salad would be delicious with other stone fruit such as ripe nectarines or plums.
- Looking for a little crunch? Add some chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds. Or, add some dollops of my vegan ricotta.
- If you don’t have fresh chile, add a hearty pinch of dried chile flakes to the vinaigrette instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know when peaches are ripe?
When a peach is ripe, it will be sweetly fragrant and give a little when pressed gently with your finger. Because ripe peaches are delicate, the ones you find in the store are usually a bit underripe and will need 2-3 days to ripen on your counter.
What is the best way to slice a peach?
Most of the time, we get clingstone peaches here – which means that the stone is tightly held by the fruit. The easiest way to slice these peaches is to cut the side of the fruit, as close to the stone as possible, then slice each piece (you’ll end up with 2 larger pieces and 2 smaller side pieces).
Can you substitute nectarines for peaches?
While the fruit do have differences in flavour, I do find that nectarines make a great swap for peaches in a pinch. Honestly, any stone fruit like plums and apricots would be lovely in this salad!
More Vegan Summer Salads
- Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
- Avocado Ranch Potato Salad
- Greek Salad with Vegan Feta
- Cold Soba Salad with Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
- Tomato Salad with Dates, Mint and Lemon Tahini Vinaigrette
Fresh Peach Arugula Salad with Vinaigrette
Peach Arugula Salad
- 4 big handfuls baby arugula, about half a 5 oz (142g) clamshell
- 2 medium ripe peaches, skin on, thinly sliced
- 1 medium avocado, cubed and sprinkled with flaky salt
- ¼ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
Coriander Chile Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ or 1 Thai or Fresno red chile, sliced
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon whole coriander, crushed with a knife or a mortar and pestle
- ½ garlic clove, crushed or micrograted
- ¼ teaspoon micrograted fresh ginger
For serving, optional
- vegan parmesan, would be nice here too if you have some!
- First make the vinaigrette: in a jam jar, add the vinegar, oil, chile, sugar, salt, coriander, garlic and ginger. Place lid on, shake up and set aside.
- In a medium salad bowl or on individual plates, arrange arugula, peaches, avocado and red onion. Either toss with dressing or serve with dressing on the side.