Grilled Nectarines and Fresh Mozzarella Summer Salad

Grilled Nectarine and Mozzarella Stacked Salad

This Grilled Nectarines and Fresh Mozzarella Stacked Salad is a bit challenging. At least it is to me. I don’t mean it’s challenging to eat. Grilled nectarines are a marvel. Make grilled nectarines the center of a summer salad and the only challenge the eaters in your life face is stopping at just one stack of this summer bounty.

No, for me the challenge in this salad comes in presentation.

As a cook I’m big on presentation. Fabulous food sloppily presented seems half-baked to me. That’s not say I don’t love a casual presentation. Family-style lasagna. Bread fresh from the oven torn into chunks. Meticulously made cocktails spilling over the sides of the glass. I love this sort of casualness– as long as it’s thoughtfully casual. I’m not saying I’ll ever succumb to burlap napkins or rusty forks, but thumb your way through Judy Rodger’s Zuni Cafe Cookbook and you will see page after page of thoughtfully presented food. All of it so casual I’d be tempted to put my elbows on the table at her house. I bet she encourages elbows on the table.

Grilled Nectarines

So as summer comes to an end I have grilled nectarines in a thoughtfully casual summer salad. We can’t let summer slip away without enjoying the last of ripe, juicy nectarines. I kicked up my casual summer salad a notch or two with a lime, cumin and chili dressing. I made the salad just casual enough by throwing the fruit on the grill and layering the grilled nectarines with slices of creamy mozzarella– just beginning to melt.

The challenge comes when stacking. Work carefully and quickly, the warm nectarines are intended to melt the mozzarella. Which can quickly cause your stack to tumble from thoughtfully casual to deliciously sloppy.

Of course you could serve this salad deliciously sloppy– of course you could. But I couldn’t (I just couldn’t). GREG

prepping grilled nectarines

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source adapted from Southern LivingPublished
Nectarine & Mozzarella Stacked Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 large, ripe but firm nectarines
  • 2 green onions (sliced using the white, light green and some of the dark green parts)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves (loosely packed) plus more as garnish
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lime (zest only)
  • 2 limes (juice only)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounce baby spinach (washed)
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella (cut into sixteen ¼-inch slices)

Directions

Peel and chop 1 nectarine; set aside. Cut remaining 4 nectarines into 32 (¼-inch-thick) rounds. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting 4 slices on each side just until you reach the pit. Save the remaining bits for another use.)

In a mini-food processor puree chopped nectarine, green onions, ¼ cup cilantro leaves, honey, salt, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, and chili powder. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube until thoroughly combined; Set aside. May be made up to 3 days in advance. Re-emulsify before use.

Spray the cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of peach rounds with some of the nectarine cumin dressing.

Grill nectarine rounds until grill marks appear; 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Arrange baby spinach evenly on 4 plates. Working quickly while the nectarines are still warm, alternately stack 4 of the larger grilled nectarine rounds and 4 cheese slices over spinach on each plate. Top each with 3 more of the smaller nectarine rounds (you will have extra rounds so choose the nicest). Drizzle with more dressing, to taste. Garnish with cilantro

Notes

When stacking, work carefully and quickly as the warm peaches will melt the mozzarella causing the stack to spread deliciously across the salad plate. Also if you don’t think you can’t get 4 slices from either side of the pit use an extra nectarine to be assured that you have enough slices.



%d bloggers like this: