Below is a salad idea that isn’t boring, is simple and delicious and one that you can put together literally in minutes! One of my favorite things to eat in the summer is nectarines. They remind me of summers when I was little and my mom used to pack my sister and neighbor a picnic to have outdoors while we played in the woods. She would cut nectarines up into bite-sized pieces and give us toothpicks that looked like a sword to eat them with. Now as an adult, this salad reminds me of those summers filled with special picnics packed by mom.
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Nectarine Salad with Cucumber, Spinach, Goat Cheese & Grilled Salmon
serves 4 / prep time: 30 minutes
Here’s what you’ll need to make this fresh and delicious summer recipe:
You’ll need about 4 ripe (semi-firm) nectarines to make this recipe. Nectarines are not peaches just like how Pilates is not Yoga. Ha! The most obvious differences are their skin and flavor. Peaches are covered with fuzz, while nectarines have thin, smooth skin. Nectarines also have a more sweet-tart flavor. In addition to being low in calories and rich in fiber, nectarines are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. These nutrients offer health benefits in terms of improved metabolism, digestion, and heart health.
Adams has a lovely selection of locally grown greens to choose from. Frozen spinach won’t do the trick here so grab a bag of fresh local spinach in the produce section before they run out!
Cucumbers are wonderful eaten raw, tossed into salads, and, of course, pickled and enjoyed as a snack, but sometimes those darn seeds are so annoying. Did you know that there are nearly 100 varieties of cucumbers grown in most countries in the world? So, when picking your cucumbers for this recipe try for those cute mini ones or the longer ones sold individually that are called English Cucumbers to make sure that those darn seeds don’t get in the way.
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Who doesn’t love cheese? Adams cheese counter is the most tempting place in the store for me. I usually try to run past it but somehow a block (or two...) of cheese always ends up in my cart.
I always buy the prechopped or sliced onion from Adams so I don’t cry when I am cooking. A clever trick that one of my client's taught me (Thanks, Sue!) is that soaking your onion in a small bowl of water with ½ a teaspoon of salt for 10-15 minutes removes any bitterness, which is perfect for this salad.
I love grilled salmon. My favorite way to grill it is on a cedar plank. A client's great tip (Thanks, Ron!) of soaking the cedar planks in water for hours before putting them on the grill has saved me many pieces of salmon and from setting the deck on fire!
1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
4 ripe (semi-firm) nectarines
4 cups fresh spinach
4 mini or English cucumbers (so there are not large seeds)
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 4-6oz. pieces of salmon
Dressing (if desired).
If you want to make your own:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Salt & Pepper
If you don’t want to make your own you can use any light, fruit-infused vinegar, like raspberry for example.
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Slice nectarines into slices and cucumbers into thin slices.
Scatter the spinach into your bowl and arrange nectarines, cucumber, onions, and goat cheese crumbles on top.
Top with desired dressing and salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use.
Serve as desired with the grilled/baked salmon, or substitute chicken or avocado if you aren’t into fish or meat.