Summer rocket and grilled peach salad
Health benefits of peaches
Peaches are a favourite fruit in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for cooling the body. This makes them the perfect addition to your summer market purchases. As a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, peaches support healthy digestion and elimination. They are also a source of prebiotic fibre, a particular fibre that acts as a fuel source for healthy gut bacteria.
The famous colour of peaches isn’t just pleasing to the eye, it also indicates that this fruit is rich in polyphenols - a type of plant chemical that gives the fruit its pretty hue while providing plenty of protective health benefits too. Polyphenols support the body’s production of antioxidants, helping to protect the cells from free radical damage and reducing inflammation. They’re also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, two important antioxidants that support immune health.
Why rocket should be in regular rotation
The bitter flavour of rocket works to stimulate digestive juices which can enhance absorption of nutrients. The leafy green is also part of the cruciferous vegetable family that broccoli also belongs to.
Cruciferous vegetables are well known for their anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as being rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins C and K, folate, iron and magnesium.
Are fresh herbs good for you?
We don’t often think about fresh herbs as another type of leafy green for our diet - but that’s exactly what they are. Herbs are high in chlorophyll, the substance that gives plants their green pigment and also acts as an antioxidant. In fact, herbs are high in a range of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and polyphenols that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Fresh herbs also contain plenty of vitamin C and zinc to support immunity and healthy skin, vitamin K and calcium for healthy bones, magnesium to relieve muscle tension and iron and folate for healthy red blood cells.
With herbs giving a huge nutrient boost to any meal, feel free to add them liberally!
- 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup vegan feta (or dairy-based feta, if you prefer)
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoon chives, chopped
- Juice + zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Cut your peaches in half, remove the pit and cut into wedges.
- Lightly brush the peaches with olive oil then place under the grill, grilling until lightly charred on both sides - about 5 minutes.
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large salad bowl, add the rocket, walnuts, red onion, feta and grilled peaches. Gently toss to combine. Drizzle the salad dressing over when ready to serve.
- Serra S, et al. Foods 2020;9(10):1452.
- Hedges, et al. Crop & Food Research 2007:1891.