Summertime is the season of salads, simple compositions, and the perfect time to be lazy with ‘cooking’ meals, aka tossing together fresh fruits and veggies and calling it a meal. While Labor Day has passed and the rest of the country is prepping for fall, San Francisco is just starting to heat up and signal the beginning of our own little Indian summer.
Wandering the farmers market on Sunday, I have been greedily filling bags of nectarines, peaches, and plums as stone fruit is still taking over the stalls. Frog hollow is my go-to for the best juicy peaches and nectarines, and I eat them sliced over greek yogurt in the morning and grilled with honey and marscapone for dessert, or just sliced raw for an afternoon snack. For the last week, I’ve been stuffing myself with a combination of nectarines or peaches, tossed together with mixed greens and burrata, that soft lump of mozzarella-style cheese filled with a creamy center, aka, pure dairy heaven.
It’s a new take on a caprese salad, which is one of the best and most satisfying summer meals: vine ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese, and basil pulled from the garden finished with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. The Italians really know what they’re doing in the produce department. Simple, fresh, and satisfying. Throw a piece of grilled fish or chicken on top and you have dinner. It’s a breeze to put together and looks incredibly elegant when composed.
Adding fresh fruit to the mix is a beautiful touch of sweetness, and for this twist, the nectarines are quick pickled to add a dash of tang and fresh mint takes the place of basil. The mozzarella gets elevated to its fancy cousin burrata by being wrapped in its own mozzarella cream, which turns it into a little pocket of mild cheesy goodness. Drizzled with olive oil and the finest flaky sea salt and you have the makings of an enviable lunch. Mix and match with other fruits and veggies to create your own twist. I promise you won’t have any trouble devouring the finished product. Enjoy!
Pickled Nectarine & Burrata Salad (from Bon Appetit )
2 nectarines, thinly sliced (ripe but not too soft)
1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups mixed greens (I used red leaf but arugula also works well)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 Tbs. olive oil
8 oz. burrata (or fresh mozzarella) torn into bite-sized pieces
optional: sprinkle of flaky sea salt (Maldon)
Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper in a measuring cup and pour over sliced nectarines and let sit for ten minutes.
Pour off pickling liquid from the nectarines to make a vinaigrette. Using a fork in a small bowl, whisk olive oil and 2 Tbls. of the reserved pickling liquid together and toss with the greens and mint. Gently add nectarine slices and torn burrata pieces and plate. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and flaky sea salt, then serve.
Note: I omitted the sliced red onion from the original recipe because I don’t love them, but feel free to add 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced, to the pickled nectarines. Also, I’ve made this salad several times without pickling the nectarines and it’s absolutely delicious.