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Peaches, Onions and Bacon

It has been a strange, hot summer. I’ve complained a lot. You see, I only like perfect weather: autumn, spring, mild summer days and moderate winters. Anything else I find annoying.

I am silly.

One thing I did not complain about was the food. Even with no power and 100°F+, I appreciated the amazing bounty of a Midwestern summer. When else can you eat salads like this?

This is the sort of big, robust salad that can stand alone as the star of the show. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon. I’d love to serve it with some corn bread and a glass of iced tea. I suggest you make it right now, while there are still some peaches hanging around.

The original recipe did not have the arugula, but I liked their peppery addition.

Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Dressing (adapted from Food & Wine [1])

Preheat the oven to 325° F. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the sour cream, buttermilk, mint, parsley, chives and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices on the sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cayenne. Bake for about 25 minutes, until caramelized (the bacon will crisp as it cools). Let cool, then cut the bacon into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until softened and browned, 10 minutes. Separate the onions into rings. Brush the peaches with olive oil and grill over moderately high heat until tender, 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

On a large serving platter, arrange the arugula in a layer. Top with the peaches, onions, and bacon. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.