A SALAD OF NECTARINES AND ASPARAGUS
1 small bunch asparagus, sliced on the bias
1 teaspoon oil
Zest of one lemon, reserve 1/2 lemon for juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cups mixed greens, such as lettuces, spinach leaves, young kale, arugula
2 nectarines, thinly sliced lengthwise
2-3 ounces Feta or Chèvre, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds Sea salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish, optional
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the asparagus in one teaspoon oil, stirring occasionally, for about four minutes, until bright green. Add garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute more. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of juice from half the lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Make the dressing by whisking together the Balsamic vinegar with the shallot. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with the dressing. Top with the asparagus, Feta, chopped almonds and finish with slices of nectarine. Garnish with parsley if desired. Best served immediately. Recipe adapted from: theyearinfood.com
Know Your Produce: NECTARINES
Nectarines closely related fruit species to peach. Juicy, delicious nectarines are low in calories (100 g just provide 44 calories), and contain no saturated fats. They are packed with numerous health promoting anti-oxidants, plant nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Store: Although best enjoyed without delay, ripe nectarines can be refrigerated for three to five days. Leave firmer ones at room temperature to ripen. Stone fruit ripens from the inside out: check the stem area to see if it yields to gentle pressure. Ripe nectarines are also usually fragrant. Prep: Wash well under cool water before using. Use: Nectarines may be enjoyed, peel and all. They are delicious sliced and eaten out of hand, or with your breakfast cereal/on yogurt. They also work well in almost any recipe calling for peaches.