I RECENTLY went through my recipe binders, culling the “never-tried” from the “tried-and-true” only to find some among the latter that we had enjoyed but neglected after once giving them a go.
Most featured my hand-written comments including the recipe below from Homes and Gardens magazine in 2013, which I rated as: “Lovely! Vinaigrette very nice!” I recalled how enjoyable the subtly sweet nectarine-based dressing was together with the salty, rich blue cheese and peppery rocket leaves.
Given that our grocery shelves are abundantly stocked with ripe, sweet nectarines I decided to give it a second try and we were as satisfied with it this time as the last.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Blue Cheese and Rocket Salad with Sourdough Croutons and Seasonal Nectarine Dressing
Serves four people as a side or two as a main.
For the nectarine dressing:
1 ripe nectarine, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp coarse mustard (I use Maille wholegrain mustard)
1 tsp honey
For the salad:
100g sourdough bread, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used sourdough with hazelnuts from Manor grocery store)
2 tbsp olive oil
100g wild rocket leaves
3 ripe nectarines, halved, stoned and sliced (I used 2 large ones and it was plentiful)
120g Stilton or other strong blue cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp of chopped lightly salted pistachios
- To make the dressing, pulse all the ingredients together in a blender or mini-food processor with a tablespoon of water, seasoning with a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Use the dressing straightaway or cover and chill it for up to 2 days.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
- Toss the sourdough bread with oil and toast for about 8-10 minutes, turning halfway until golden and crisp at the edges.
- The original recipe recommends that a few minutes before assembling you spoon 1/3 of the dressing over the toasted bread and mix, and then toss another 1/3 of the dressing with the rocket, nectarines, blue cheese and sourdough chunks. Then add the remaining dressing to taste. In hot weather though, I prefer to add the dressing to the mixed ingredients at the table and to taste. This avoids that the leaves become sodden and the mixture too gloopy.
- Scatter with the pistachio nuts.