Pickled Nectarine Salad

Pomegranate molasses and black peppercorns preserve these nectarines for enjoyment all year long.
pickled nectarines

Pickled Nectarines

A light lemon vinaigrette complements the cucumber, fennel, avocado and pickled nectarines in this healthy salad.

Photo by: Jenn Louis

Jenn Louis

A light lemon vinaigrette complements the cucumber, fennel, avocado and pickled nectarines in this healthy 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

Serves 4

  • 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
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 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.

Lemon vinaigrette

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.

Pickled nectarines

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. 

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