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.

Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.


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

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Touché! Desert Fencing Academy Offers a Lifetime of Swordplay

Step inside Desert Fencing Academy in Palm Desert and you will understand why it's a lifetime sport with students ranging in age from 7 to 83.

Where You Can Splurge on Ice Cream in Palm Springs Area

As the lazy days of summer come to a close, splurge on a unique ice cream “shoppe” experience in The Greater Palm Springs area.

5 Features to Explore in Summerland, California

The next time you find yourself stuck in traffic on U.S. 101, take a worthwhile detour to the artsy, eclectic hillside beach town of Summerland, California.

Revelle at Clancy Lane Adapts Houses to Your Life

Some of the new homes at the Revelle at Clancy Lane in Rancho Mirage may look the same on the exterior, but these houses are the antithesis of cookie-cutter.

Cinema Diverse Offers Record Number of Feature Films in Palm Springs

Individual tickets for Cinema Diverse go on sale Aug. 31 as the Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival offers the largest selection of feature films in its seven years.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.