Southern California grows an amazing selection of summer fruits. I love them all, but the nectarine is currently my favorite. They are a no-fuss succulent fruit that can quickly star in your summertime sweet or savory creations.
I thought the nectarine was a cross between a peach and a plum. Not so, it is a fuzzy-less variety of a peach.
California grows more than 95% of the nectarines produced in the United States; China being the world’s largest producer.
The nectarine is low in calories and loaded with health benefits, such as antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, and Potassium.
I made this dish for our monthly Los Angeles Food Bloggers Meet Up. The secret to the beauty of this dish is cutting all your ingredients symmetrical. I have taken knife skill classes in culinary school, and I still can’t cut perfectly. So…
How to look like a “Top Chef” Knife Master:
Simple… buy an onion chopper. I have purchased so many of these for gifts because I think every home cook should own one. They chop and dice vegetables and fruits quickly and efficiently.
I recently had the opportunity to test drive the Zyliss Onion Chopper. I found this sturdier and easier to use than others I have tried. This gadget not only saves a lot of time, it makes you look like a culinary superstar.
Helpful tips for using an onion chopper:
- The secret to easy cleaning of this gadget is to wash it immediately after using. If you leave it overnight you will have to soak it for hours to clean off the dried food.
- I also find that you if you slice your vegetables and fruit the same depth as the size of the blade you are using, the cuts will be more symmetrical.
I have successfully used this with cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, carrots, celery, nectarines, bell peppers & potatoes. I haven’t found it to be useful for tomatoes other than firm Romas.
Nectarine Salsa with Whipped Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Use slightly under ripe nectarines for best results. You can serve any leftover salsa with chips, fish tacos or grilled chicken. Salsa recipe adapted from David Bonom, Cooking Light.
- 2 cups chopped nectarines
- 1 cup chopped radishes
- 3/4 cup chopped Persian cucumbers
- 1/4 cup chopped red onions
- 1 small jalapeño, seeds and pith removed & diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Nectarine Salsa Directions:
Combine all ingredients except cilantro in a medium bowl; toss well. Let the salsa mixture stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Add chopped cilantro leaves right before serving so they don’t lose their flavor.
Whipped Goat Cheese
- 4 ounces goat cheese, I use Redwood Hills Farms Chevre
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Whipped Goat Cheese Directions:
Put the goat cheese, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor, pulse until smooth. I use my Cuisinart Hand Blender with the chopper grinder attachment. (Whipped goat cheese will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.)
- Fresh baguette
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
- Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down.
- Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once the bread is cool, spread the whipped goat cheese on the olive oil side of the baguette slices.
- Top with nectarine salsa. Serve immediately.
Nutty Nectarines Facts
Nectarine seeds may grow into trees that bear either nectarines or peaches, and peach seeds may occasionally grow into trees that bear nectarines. Huh, right? It is not possible to know which fruit will grow on trees grown from nectarine seeds, so nectarine branches are grafted onto peach trees to guarantee a crop of nectarines.
Personally I would rather eat my colors rather than wear them.
…and then, she paused 4 thought.