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I have a confession to make that I hope doesn’t get me kicked out of the food blogger’s club, or the lover of food club, or any club for that matter.  I don’t like goat cheese.  I’ve tried.  I even have a few recipes on here with it.  I keep thinking that if I keep trying, that one day something will click and I will fall in love with it.  But that moment hasn’t happened yet.  I’m not giving up, because I’m not a quitter – but I had to disclose that before I discussed this recipe.

When I went searching for a Rachael Ray recipe with peaches, this one really stood out to me.  I’m not sure why – maybe because it’s easy, and I need more easy in my life right now.  Maybe it’s because it’s a salad, and I need more salad in my life right now!  But when I looked at it, I loved everything about it – except that goat cheese.  I was going to substitute it with something else, but I was feeling adventurous and hadn’t tried goat cheese in awhile, so I thought I’d give it another try.  And honestly, the goat cheese kind of ruined it all for me.  I ended up picking all of the cheese off that I could, but since it’s a soft cheese, I couldn’t get it all.  But I loved the ham and the peach combination.  I feel like peaches and pork go so well together.  The dressing was missing a little oomph for me – I think it just needed some additional spices.  Or maybe grilling the avocado and slicing it into the salad, and just dressing the salad with a simple vinaigrette would be the way to go.  But this recipe is a wonderful starting point – and if you like goat cheese, this is probably a perfect recipe just the way it is!!

Spinach Salad with Grilled Ham and Peaches
from Every Day with Rachael Ray August 2009

serves 4

total time:  30 minutes

Two 1-inch thick slices of crusty bread
1 pound boneless ham steak
4 peaches, halved
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 avocado
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 pound baby spinach
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the grill to medium high. Brush the bread, ham and peaches with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill, turning once, until the bread and ham are charred and the peaches are softened. Remove from grill and let cool.

Slice the ham and cut the peaches into wedges. Cut the bread into large cubes.

In a food processor, combine the buttermilk, avocado and lemon juice. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the salad by combining the spinach with the grilled ham and peaches. Top with the croutons and goat cheese and serve with the avocado-buttermilk dressing.

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Saturdays with Rachael Ray rules:

* You can link any blog post, present or past, as long as it is a Rachael Ray recipe.
* Your blog post must link back to this post, mentioning Saturdays with Rachael Ray.

That’s it!! Simple, simple. Just make sure the recipe is a Rachael Ray recipe – it doesn’t matter if it comes from her talk show, 30-Minute Meals, her magazine, or one of her cookbooks. But it must be from Rachael Ray. Any posts that don’t follow these two rules will be deleted from the linky.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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11 Responses to Saturdays with Rachael Ray – Spinach Salad with Grilled Ham and Peaches

  1. Bev Weidner says:

    No on the goat cheese?! My heart aches for you.

    This looks looovely though. All over it!

  2. Nisrine says:

    Peaches, avocado, goat cheese. I love this salad!

  3. Cassie says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. I’d probably replace the ham with bacon, because that’s how I roll. :) I can’t believe you don’t like goat cheese, but that’s okay. We’re still friends. :) Do you like feta? I bet you could use that in place of the goat cheese if you wanted!

  4. Barbara says:

    I like goat cheese, but not feta. (Feta makes me sweata.) If a recipe calls for feta, I substitute goat cheese. I imagine it would work the other way round too. Do you like feta?

  5. Joanne says:

    Goat cheese definitely has a super strong flavor that people either tend to love or hate. It sounds like feta would work well in this…or cubes of brie or mozzarella…or “insert your favorite cheese here”!

  6. Tessa says:

    I am with you on the goat cheese… I have tried multiple times, and I just can’t do the “tang.” Like the suggestions above, I usually end up substituting something like feta. The rest of the salad sounds great though!

  7. newlywed says:

    Looks great! I just got home from peach-picking and am on the look-out for some good peach recipes!

  8. I love goat cheese – and Rachael Ray! I need to make more of her recipes…

  9. Debbie says:

    I think you version looks wonderful! I do like goat cheese but I bet it is still good without it.
    Great picture!
    Debbie

  10. I passed over this recipe at first glance, but then after thinking about it, it started to sound really good. I think I’m going to try it. Thanks!

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