Summer Salad Recipe: How to Stay Cool, Eat Well

Appetito Cal-Italian Deli in Palm Springs offers a tangy, cool salad

The Grilled Summer Peach Spinach Salad with Ricotta Salata and Hazelnut vinaigrette offers a cool alternative during the hot summer.

Photo by Jim Powers


As summer temps climb, the thought of adding more heat in the kitchen may not sound like a great choice.

A succulent summer salad may be your coolest option. Garden fresh mixed greens, seasonal fruits and veggies, and a tasty blend of a custom-made dressing is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Cooking up such lighter fare has never been easier.

Patrick Service, managing partner of Appetito Cal-Italian-Deli in Palm Springs (pictured at right), has put together a refreshing recipe for a Grilled Summer Peach Spinach Salad with Ricotta Salata and Hazelnut vinaigrette.

Service says the topping is the perfect pairing for the salad, “adding a third dimension that is tart, sweet and nutty.”

Appetito is the hip new gastro-deli that has made a splash with its Negroni Bar and stylish take on the classic Italian cuisine.

Appetito’s menu combines Italian staples with fresh, local ingredients to enhance flavor and entice guests to try an updated twist on old-style recipes. 

“I love altering ingredients in subtle ways to enhance flavor,” Service says.

Check out the video to see Service artfully prepare:

Grilled Summer Peach Spinach Salad (serves 4):

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 peaches, Sliced
  • 1.5 pounds spinach
  • 6 ounces Ricotta Salata (or other crumbling salty cheese)
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted-fresh and sliced

Poaching Liquid:

  • 1 bottle Red Wine (we used Beaujolais)
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Salad Preparation

Grilled Peaches:

Pit and slice peaches down the midline. Slice each half into thirds, resulting in six slices per peach used. Bring red wine to a boil and back to a simmer with cinnamon stick. Add all peach slices, while still simmering, for 2 minutes. Remove, drain and chill before placing on the grill. Grill the peaches on medium heat until light grill marks appear.


Add 6 ounces of washed spinach per bowl, gently toss in hazelnut vinaigrette (see recipe below) and sliced cherries. Add grilled peaches and 1.5 ounces of Ricotta Salata to the top of the salad.

Hazelnut Vinaigrette

  • 2 cups Sherry Vinegar
  • 3 cups Hazelnut oil
  • 1 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette Preparation

In a bowl add vinegar and maple syrup. Gradually add oils. Finish with thyme and season.

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VIDEO: Watch Patrick Service create the Summer Grilled Peach Spinach Salad.

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