This is a fantastic summer salad that I originally created for a cooking demonstration for the Monterey Historic Garden Club along with a grilled fig and olive tapanade and a couple other grilled fruit goodies.
For the salad, I first made a chile-ginger vinaigrette and marinated the sliced nectarine for about an hour before grilling the to add a little heat and spice. The salad mix I put together for the garden club included arugula and I included it here because the bitterness plays well with the enhanced sweetness of the nectarines from grilling. The herb mix of chives, basil and mint really leaned a little mint heavy — it’s a nice compliment to the nectarines and goes surprising well with the avocado.
This is one of those salads you can add what you want to dress it up or down — young dandelion greens would be great in the salad mix, as would the addition of fresh blueberries. The nut topping can be almost anything including candied pecans – I tossed in a few pepitas int o mine with the chopped pecans. Have fun with it!
- For vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
- 1 Fresno chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ cup neutral oil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 nectarines, cut into eighths
- For Salad:
- 4 ounces spring mix
- 4 ounces baby arugula
- ½ cup chopped herbs - chives, basil, mint
- ½ small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ chopped nuts
- Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the shallots, chile, ginger, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil until thoroughly incorporated.
- Measure out ¼ cup of the vinaigrette and toss with sliced nectarines. Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Set up grill for direct heat grilling over medium heat. Brush and oil the grates before cooking. Grill nectarine for 2 to 3 minutes per side until marked. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, herbs, onions avocado and grilled nectarines. Spoon in 3 or 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing if necessary.
- Divide the salad among 8 chilled plates, garnish wit goat cheese and nuts.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!