Pickled Nectarine Salad
Nectarines are peaches that refuse to go through puberty—a recessive gene prevents them from developing that signature peach fuzz. They’re a little firmer, a little more flavorful and are harvested through fall, longer than most fruits considered summertime treats.
Jenn Louis, chef/owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Oregon, keeps nectarines in season all year long by pickling them with a rich combination of pomegranate molasses, black peppercorn and fennel seeds. She uses in them various ways throughout the year, including this presentation as a salad topping for mixed greens and quinoa dressed with lemon vinaigrette. “I try to pack as many fruits and vegetables as I can in every salad and the pickled nectarines really top this one off,” she says.
Pickled nectarine salad
Courtesy of Jenn Louis, chef/owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Oregon
- 5 ounces small leaves of mixed greens
- 8 tablespoons cooked quinoa
- 1 pickled nectarine or 4 quartered pieces sliced into ½-inch pieces*
- 8 ounces cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced thinly
- 2 ounces fennel bulb, thinly shaved
- ½ small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Lemon vinaigrette*
In a large bowl, gently mix first 7 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and dress with lemon vinaigrette. Place in large bowl to serve family-style or divide salad on 4 plates to serve individual portions.
Yield: ½ cup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Combine in a dressing bottle or small bowl. Mix well before using.
Yield: 1 quart
- 1 ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 nectarines
Bring a pot of water to a simmer. With a small paring knife, make a small x in the bottom end of the nectarine. Submerge nectarine in simmering water for 30 seconds then transfer to a bowl of ice water. After 1 minute, remove nectarine and peel skin from fruit. Gently cut flesh, in quarters, from pit. Reserve nectarine pieces.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a small saucepot. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
Place nectarines into a glass quart jar. Strain hot pickling liquid over fruit and place a piece of parchment over fruit, keeping fruit submerged. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate.