Grilled Peach Arugula ‘Caprese’ Salad {recipe}

Peach Arugula Caprese

After all that, it finally felt like fall this week…

And I can’t be sure what “it” is, because “it” certainly couldn’t have been the weather. When I finally pulled myself away from the computer yesterday, I crept outside, and after my pasty-yellow-white skin grew back after burning off in daylight that it hadn’t seen in days, I felt the need to spread my arms and break out into a Disney theme song. (If you must know, something from Mulan because she’s Asian so automatically who I identify most with! Who’s your spirit Disney Princess? Answer in the comments!)

The sky was blue. The sun was high and bright. The air was warm, hovering in the 70s. Maybe not quite summer, but not quite October.

Not quite October anywhere else, that is.

Mid-70s temperatures anywhere else is summer — late August, even early-June — not October. But this is Los Angeles. Seventy-five degrees is definitely a cooling off of the near 100s it was at the end of September and mid-90s last week. I’ve lived in LA for almost 20 years and with the exception of that one time when I just can’t be certain what it was like outside because I was inside, buried under an emotional winter, it is like this every year.




And yet, I marvel in disbelief at the warm fall weather every year, as if I’d forgotten about the the previous year, like I suffer some form of meteorological amnesia. “Wow, is it really this warm? In October? Is this what they call ‘Indian Summer?’ That vice president internet inventor guy was right about global warming!”

No, it couldn’t have been the weather that felt like fall.

And it certainly couldn’t have been a recent, seasonally inappropriate Grilled Peach and Arugula ‘Caprese’ Salad, which is the second most un-Autumnesque food on the planet right after ohIdon’tknow maybe a Watermelon Margarita, and which I made because Ben and I don’t get out to to eat at Gjelina much and while there is about 0.01% chance that I will ever attempt to Gjelina-ly wood-fire a pizza at home myself, there is a 100% chance that I will grill a peach, 110% if you count that I’ve already just done it. (Sorry, I’m not sure how that math works.)


At least it’s sweater weather!

Because we have the a/c on.

Grilled Peaches

Peach Arugula Caprese

Grilled Peach Arugula ‘Caprese’ Salad {recipe}

serves 2


small clove of garlic
handful of arugula
5-6 leaves fresh basil
a few chives
¼ cup olive oil
soft tofu (not silken), about half a regular “block”
1 large ripe peach or nectarine
canola or grapeseed oil
arugula, baby (mild) or wild (pungent)
salt and pepper
toasted walnuts


Make Herb Oil: Very finely mince garlic, handful of arugula, a few fresh basil leaves, and chives. Combine minced herbs with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper; you can always add salt and pepper directly to the finished salad later.

Prepare Tofu: Drain tofu, pat dry. Carefully slice into ¼-inch thick slabs. Lay each slice on a few layers of paper towel to soak up any excess water.

Lay tofu slices on a flat surface. Cut out rounds using a cookie cutter, whatever you have to cut out rounds like an empty, cleaned out soup can, or if you’re steady enough, do it free hand with a sharp knife (good luck with that last one).

Use the tofu “scraps” in something else later (in stir fry, scrambled with egg whites, just straight up with some hot cock).

Grill Peaches: Heat grill pan over medium-high to high heat.

Cut peach or nectarine into ¼-inch thick slices. Brush both slides of each slice very lightly with canola or grapeseed oil.

When the grill pan is smoking hot, grill peaches until grill marks appear. Quarter-turn them (90°) if you want criss-crosses. Turn the peaches over and grill the other side. You’re not really “cooking” the peaches, just getting a little bit of chargrill flavor and warmed.

Place a few handfuls of arugula on each plate. Arrange grilled peaches and sliced tofu on top. Drizzle with herb oil and toasted walnuts. Serve with salt and pepper, obvs.

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