Recipes Salad Side Dishes

Nectarine Caprese Salad

July 3, 2015
Nectarine caprese

The Italian classic insalata caprese, pairing ripe tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, represents the red-white-and-green of Italy’s flag. It is also the iconic portrait of summer and leisure. Why not present another summer classic: the pink-and-golden glow of a summer sky at sunset. Change up the recipe up with juicy nectarines and a cinnamon spiced balsamic vinegar reduction. The reduction sweetens the fruit, intensifying the flavors. Present it as a salad or dessert. You choose. It’s summertime, when life is supposed to be easy.

Nectarine Caprese Salad Recipe

4 firm ripe nectarines, sliced into three pieces each, reserving remainder for another use

Note: Nectarines are tricky little devils, and don’t slice and separate from the pit as easily as say, a peach. For this recipe, I recommend forgoing battle with your fruit, and slice from the sides, leaving pit intact. Save remaining fruit flesh for a purpose requiring less presentation.

12  1/4 inch thick slices fresh mozzarella

8 medium fresh basil leaves, plus leaves for garnish

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 T agave nectar

1/8 tsp each cinnamon and ground cloves

Nectarine caprese salad

The lusciously juicy nectarine provides a summertime color palate for the classic insalata caprese.

On four plates, carefully stack nectarine slices, mozzarella, and basil leaves, beginning with a nectarine as the base, ending with the cheese.

In a small saucepan, heat vinegar and agave nectar over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Bring mixture to boil and reduce by half, continuing to stir for about 3-4 minutes, until spoon leaves a trail in the sauce. Remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon and ground cloves, incorporating completely.

Nectarine Caprese salad

Reducing the balsamic vinegar in a slow, controlled boil releases its natural sweetness.

Drizzle sauce over nectarine caprese salad and garnish with basil leaf.

Serves 4.

Nectarine Caprese salad

Fruit, cheese, and a drizzle of vinegar. Simple, sweet, salad. Or dessert. You decide.

AuxerroisWine educator Stephanie Davis from Winacea found a very special bottle from Rolly Gassmann that flows beautifully with luscious stone fruits such as nectarines, peaches, and apricots. Priced at about $30/bottle, this French wine from Alsace is made with Auxerrois grapes. Stephanie believes it will become one of your favorites. If you can’t find a bottle, try an Alsacian Riesling instead.

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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, because living brings its own humor, angst and heroism. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished,  https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou where she hopes you’ll find illumination of the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Vodka and recipes optional.

 

Award-winning Chick Lit author Emily Kemme writes about the quirks of human nature. Find musings, recipes, and satire on her blog, Feeding the Famished. Novels | Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage | In Search of Sushi Tora | Other works in progress

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