I swear I could eat summer nectarines every single day. I crave them like I crave pasta. They’re perfect – sweet, healthy and really pretty, too. You can serve them in a bunch of different ways, but one of my favorite versions is a chopped ripe nectarines with feta and basil. There’s basically nothing else this needs – a little lemon juice, a little olive oil, a little salt & pepper, and you can either serve it over arugula or just eat it by itself as a great summer snack that you can throw together in no time flat.
SUMMER NECTARINES, FETA & BASIL WITH ARUGULA (serves 2)
– 3 nectarines
– 6-7 basil leaves, chiffonaded
– 1/4 C. crumbled feta
– juice of 1/2 a lemon
– couple glugs of EVOO
– kosher salt and pepper to taste
– 2 cups baby arugula
1. Cut up the nectarines into little cubes.
2. In a bowl, combine nectarines, EVOO, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Add the feta to the bowl with the nectarines.
4. Chiffonade the basil, then add to the bowl. Combine all gently.
5. Put the arugula in a bowl and season it a little bit with Herbamare or salt/pepper. Squeeze half a lemon over it, stir to mix.
6. Divide the arugula between two bowls, then top with the nectarine/feta/basil mix. Make sure you get any juices that have collected – this adds a nice little sweetness to the dressing.
7. Serve and enjoy.
This is, clearly, the summer of salads. It’s been so hot out lately that I can’t even think about turning on an oven, so here we are. You can get pretty creative with salads – for this one, I had some leftover grilled chicken, and the rest was in my refrigerator. It was delicious. You can sub peaches for nectarines, but make sure they’re pretty ripe, because crunch of the nectarines was perfect when paired with the creamy avocado, the grilled chicken, the saltiness of the feta and the sweet punch of the basil vinaigrette. It doesn’t keep well (at all) so make as much as you’re going to serve at a time.
CHOPPED CHICKEN SALAD WITH SUMMER NECTARINES, AVOCADO & FETA IN A BASIL VINAIGRETTE (serves 2-4)
– 2 nectarines (or peaches), chopped
– 1 large grilled chicken breast, chopped
– 1 avocado, chopped
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta
– couple basil leaves, chiffonaded
Basil Vinaigrette (makes more than enough, so just use however much you need)
– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
– 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
– 2 tsp. honey
– 6 tbsp. EVOO
– little kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper
Ready for this? It’s super complicated.
1. Chop up the nectarines/peaches/avocado into pieces roughly the same size (approx. 1/4 inch), add to a bowl.
2. Add the feta, mix gently to combine and not bruise the avocado.
3. Combine the vinegars and the salt/pepper, then the honey, then the EVOO & the chopped basil. Put a lid on it and shake it up (that doubles as life advice).
4. Top the salad with the dressing just before serving, then gently combine. Top individual servings with the extra chiffonaded basil.
— It was hard for me to concentrate while writing this because I SWEAR TO YOU, STINK BUG BUZZING SOMEPLACE IN MY SUNROOM, I WILL FIND YOU AND YOU WILL BE MINE.