When I was young, I generally thought of fruit salad as a salad composed entirely of fresh fruit. I have expanded my horizons and now realize that a fruit salad can include both vegetables (greens) and fruit in a delicious sweet yet savory balance. Pair whatever fruit is in season and looks best at the market with grilled meat, poultry or fish. This salad will also make a nice side to a warm cheesy panini or a soothing bowl of summer corn soup. If you've never had a fruit and greens salad, give this recipe a whirl -
1 cup whole blanched almonds (5 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon almond oil (optional)
4 large nectarines (2 pounds), 3 sliced 1/4 inch thick and 1 coarsely chopped
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 pint blackberries or Persian mulberries
4 bunches of arugula (1 1/4 pounds), large stems discarded
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a small pie plate, toast the almonds for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the almond oil and sprinkle with salt.
- In a mini processor, puree the chopped nectarine. Transfer the puree to a small bowl and add the shallot, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of almond oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the sliced nectarines and the blackberries in a medium bowl. Drizzle on one-third of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large shallow bowl, season the arugula with salt and pepper and toss gently with the remaining vinaigrette.
- Gently toss in the dressed fruit. Garnish with the almonds and serve immediately.