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 saying 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 is so casual I’d be tempted to put my elbows on the table at her house. I bet she encourages elbows on the table.
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 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