The BEST FRUITS of SUMMER: NECTARINES & PEACHES, Part 1

It is a banner year for stone fruits here in our little foothill garden! First it was amazing peaches and this week I picked a half bushel basket of nectarines and barely made a dent in the fruit. As with the peaches, it will be me vs. the birds for the ripest ones, I plan to win this battle! Covered them with netting and am checking them twice a day.
So this week, it is all things nectarine. First, I made a fabulous salsa with fresh nectarines and a few other ingredients. Seriously, it could become my favorite salsa this summer. Then, inspired by Bobby Flay (who wouldn’t be inspired by him, right?); I decided to grill some nectarines and add some goat cheese to the warm fruit. Oh yeah, it was so good. No need for fancy dessert when you have some freshly picked stone fruit and a BBQ grill. You have to try this, seriously yum 🙂

Here are the recipes for the salsa and grilled nectarines:

FRESH NECTARINE SALSA
(makes about 2 cups)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 fresh nectarines (you do NOT need to peel them, yes!)
  • ½ diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ – ½ diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, finely diced (use more or less depending on your love of hot peppers)
  • Juice from ½ lime or lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ avocado, cut into small pieces (optional but how can you omit avocado, right?)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Dash of Salt & Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Wash but do not peel the nectarines and cut into small cubes. Place in large bowl.

2. Dice the red pepper, onion, garlic & jalapeno & add to nectarines.

3. Squeeze juice of lemon or lime over ingredients in bowl & add olive oil & salt & pepper.

4. Dice up the avocado and cilantro and gently stir them into the salsa.

5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least ½ hour, longer is better, to allow flavors to meld.

image

GRILLED NECTARINES with GOAT CHEESE

(Allow 1 nectarine per person)

  1. Wash (do not peel) and carefully dry each nectarine. You want to use the best fruit, slightly firm for this recipe.
  2. Cut each nectarine in half and remove the pit. Brush the tops with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a hot grill. Grill for about 5 – 8 minutes, until they just start to brown.
  3. Turn them over and grill for another minute or two.  They should be starting to soften but not be at all mushy.image
  4. Place on a platter and put a spoonful of goat cheese in the center of each nectarine..Then, drizzle with a little balsamic glaze or honey (Bobby Flay’s version uses blue cheese and honey) and some freshly grated pepper and garnish with a basil or mint leaf.

imageServe immediately and be prepared to want more 🙂

 

 

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