Peaches and cream? Absotively.
Nectarines and burrata? Why not?
Grilled Nectarine and Burrata Salad
No set “recipe” here, since there’s not even a vinaigrette involved. Scale everything to your own needs and tastes. If you can’t find super-creamy, super-fresh burrata* (mine was from Di Bruno Brothers), fresh mozz, fresh ricotta, or even goat cheese will do. If you don’t have almonds, toss in some pine nuts. And if you don’t have nectarines, use peaches or plums instead. Choose fruits that are still a little firmer than you’d eat out of hand.
- nectarines (figure one half to one per person)
- burrata (again, about a half ball per person)
- arugula and/or mixed salad green
- olive oil
- sherry or balsamic vinegar
- slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- salt & pepper
Heat your grill (or grill pan) to medium-high.
Halve the nectarines, and use a sharp knife to slide out the pits. Rub a little olive oil on the cut sides to help keep the fruit from sticking to the grates.
Grill, flesh-side down, for about three minutes. Be mindful of the time, or you’ll get little half-balls of mush. You’re really just looking to mark them, not cook them through.
While the nectarines are cooling, toss the greens with a light drizzle of olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar, then season with salt and pepper.
Slice the nectarines into wedges. Arrange over greens. Tear the burrata into pieces and scatter those over, too. If you’re feeling over the top, pour on a little of the cream from the center of the cheese. Finish with a handful of the toasted nuts.
What to Drink
Camille Wallut’s estate outside the impossibly adorable village of Suzette (no cars allowed) is home, at 620 meters, to the highest vineyard in all the Côtes-du-Rhône. The sunny days and cool nights foster deeper, more even ripening and help the grapes retain their bright acidity. And the mighty Mistral winds keep mildew and insects at bay, so Camille can farm organically. In fact, her “pest” issues come from the oak forrest that surrounds the estate: wild boars that break the old vines when they fight over buried truffles (one of which her Weimaraner was kind enough to unearth for us).
This beautiful white blend (90% Viognier plus 10% Roussane) just screams STONE FRUIT. Expect aromas of white peaches, nectarines, bitter honey, and a bit of lime blossom, with a fuller weight on the palate than the delicate nose might suggest. (I’m told it’s also a great pairing with grilled shellfish, but for me, their only safe accompaniment is injectable epinephrine.)
*Not familiar with the heavenly, gooey, creamy mess that is burrata? Let Di Bruno’s Emilio Mignucci enlighten you.