Recipe: Two nectarine salads to try

Barbecued nectarine, prawn and squid salad.

Barbecued nectarine, prawn and squid salad.

A versatile fruit, nectarines star in two stunning summer salads.  

​Serves 6

1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chilli sauce or paste
2 tablespoons palm sugar, crushed (substitute with brown sugar)
2 small hot chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3cm ginger, peeled, grated
2 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
½ long cucumber, deseeded, cut into matchsticks
4 spring onions, finely sliced
6 nectarines, stoned, quartered
2 tablespoons peanut oil
400g cleaned squid or cuttlefish, cut into bite-sized pieces
400g raw prawns
½ small iceberg lettuce, shredded
½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
½ cup mint leaves, chopped
½ cup Thai basil leaves (optional)

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, chilli sauce, sugar, fresh chillies, garlic and ginger. Add the carrot, cucumber and spring onion and toss to combine. 

Heat a barbecue or grill pan to hot. Toss the nectarine quarters with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then grill for 1 minute each side or until slightly charred. Set aside to cool a little.

Toss the squid with the prawns and the remaining oil. Grill the squid and prawns, turning once, for about 30 seconds or until just opaque (squid) and pink (prawns). 

Add the squid, prawns, nectarines, lettuce, coriander, mint and Thai basil (if using) to the carrot mixture and toss well to combine, then serve. 

Brown rice & nectarine salad.

Brown rice & nectarine salad.

Serves: 6-8 

1¼ cups brown basmati rice (or medium-grain brown rice), well rinsed, soaked in plenty of cold water for 30 minutes, well drained
3 carrots, peeled, very thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons plus 75ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon runny honey
¾ cup almonds, roasted, coarsely chopped
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
6 nectarines, stoned, cut into small wedges
Small handful flat-leafed parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the rice in a saucepan with 2½ cups of water (3 cups if using medium-grain brown rice). Bring to a rolling boil over high heat then cover and turn the heat to low. Cook, without uncovering for any reason, for 30 minutes (45 minutes if using medium grain brown rice).

Meanwhile, put the carrot slices on a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Add the 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss well and spread the carrot slices over the tray. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are slightly shrivelled and browning around the edges. Remove from the oven and reserve.

Remove the rice from the heat, uncover and fluff up with a fork, being careful not to mash the rice grains. Put the rice in a wide salad bowl or on a deep platter.

Whisk together the 75ml oil, the vinegar and honey, taste and season. Pour this over the rice and toss well. Add the carrots, almonds, spring onions and nectarines and toss gently. Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.

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