This hearty salad takes advantage of summer peaches and tomatoes. The onion rings, which are a fun touch, take the place of croutons or other bread.
This salad is a fave of mine because of the onion rings! It might seem counterintuitive to eat fried onion rings with healthy salad ingredients, but I think it is better to eat them with vegetables instead of other fried foods. They are so tasty and make this salad a real treat!
Make this Salad in the Right Order
This salad is best when made in three stages to keep the onion rings hot and crunchy.
- Assemble the basic salad and place everything in rows on the lettuce.
- Make the salad dressing.
- Cook the onion rings.
Peach Salad Dressing
This salad dressing has a nice peach flavor thanks to peach preserves. It goes well with this peach salad but works anytime you want a vinaigrette on salad greens. For the best results, use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to emulsify the ingredients.
Onion rings seem like a complicated side dish to cook, but they are really quite simple to make. This recipe uses a sweet onion, but you can use yellow or white onions instead. It depends on what you have on hand and if you prefer the milder taste of sweet onions or the robust flavor that yellow and white onions usually have.
Slice the onion thin–about 1/4-inch slices. If sliced thin, you can get more rings out of one onion. Also, thin slices keep the onion rings from becoming too chunky and overpowering the rest of the salad ingredients.
Submerge in Buttermilk
Submerge the onions in buttermilk until coated well. Then let the buttermilk drip off the onions for a few seconds (shake them if necessary) and coat them in the flour mixture.
Use a Thermometer
Use a cooking thermometer to produce the best results when cooking the onion rings. A thermometer lets you know when the oil is at the correct temperature for cooking. If underheated, the onion rings are hard to brown but can overcook the inside onions. A thermometer also keeps the oil from overheating and becoming dangerously hot. I have found the best thermometer is one that clips to the side of the pan and stays in place when you cook. They are relatively inexpensive and work for deep frying and candy-making. Click here to see a source for a side-clip thermometer.
Keep the Onion Rings Warm
If necessary, keep the onion rings warm by placing them in a 200-degree F oven while you continue cooking batches. I recommend leaving them uncovered to keep them crisp.
Serve the Dressing on the Side
To keep the onion rings from becoming soggy, serve the dressing on the side. It is also best served chilled, so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce. Enjoy!