Upstage the pitmaster this Labor Day weekend

It's always about the meat, isn't it? The two three-day weekends that flank the summer, Memorial Day and Labor Day, are often celebrated by outdoor barbecues, making the protein the centerpiece. 

But I discovered a salad so tart, so sweet, so exotic, that it's impossible to eat without gushing over it. The almighty hot dog needs to take a seat. 

Right now, the markets are spilling over with pyramids of ripe yellow peaches, in season and dripping with sweetness. You have to savor it while it lasts. Mixing fruit into a salad isn't a new concept, but the Vietnamese-style dressing on this dish makes it instantly exotic - and so do the peaches!

If you don't like being the center of attention, beware taking this to a barbecue on Labor Day! Here's what to do...

Vietnamese peach salad

Vietnamese Peach Salad

Salad ingredients:

  • A head of lettuce (could be romaine, butter or a bunch of arugula - spring mix is too soft)
  • 3 peaches (any type)
  • One cup of fresh chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup of crushed peanuts, (salted & roasted)

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil, plus one tbsp
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (lemon works in a pinch)
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1/2 Fresno chile, thinly-sliced (hopefully you can find one - if not, Anaheim chiles work)


  • Chop the shallot finely
  • Take the 1/3 cup of oil and sauté the shallot until golden brown
  • Use a slotted spoon and remove the shallots, lay on a paper towel
  • While the shallots are cooking, whisk the following in a bowl: lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, 1 tbsp oil, garlic, and chile - and whisk until the sugar is dissolved
  • Slice peaches into thin rounds, and marinate them with three tablespoons of the lime juice mixture for about five minutes
  • On a serving plate, layer chopped lettuce, marinated peach slices, then mint on top.
  • Then, top the salad with the fried shallots, pour over the remaining lime juice mixture, then finish with the crushed peanuts

Sorry, Pitmaster. The meats are fine and all, but this delectable dish will be taking center stage. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Fayeruz Regan and Hamilton Regan in Nantucket


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