As we say a sorrowful farewell to another summer and enter those beautiful days of fall, take advantage of two golden ingredients — nectarines and golden beets. Take advantage of your grill a few more times too. Grilled to perfection, your nectarines will dazzle your taste buds!
Nectarines are an aromatic, summertime stone fruit. When shopping, look for brightly colored, fragrant fruit. To check for ripeness of your nectarines, place the fruit in the palm of your hand, and squeeze it very gently. It should give slightly. Avoid nectarines with bruises or other blemishes as well as those that are overly green or hard. Ripe nectarines have a brilliant, golden-yellow, smooth skin with blushes of red. Nectarines that need to ripen a bit can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. Refrigerate ripe fruit and use within 5 days.
You may want to buy organic nectarines. According to the research of the Environmental Working Group, imported nectarines rank #6 and domestic nectarines rank #17 on the list of produce with the highest pesticide loads, www.foodnews.org.
Golden beets have a sweeter, milder flavor when compared to traditional beets. The greens are edible too and contain twice the potassium as the beets, so save your greens for another time. Your beets may be refrigerated for a week if the tops are removed.
For an amazing treat, try making this Grilled Nectarine & Golden Beet Salad:
You’ll need the following ingredients — nectarines, golden beets, kale, Bent River Camembert cheese (or similar local cheese), dried blueberries or currants, and roasted pecans. This salad will be delicious with Salad Girl Organic Blueberry Basil, Pomegranate Pear, or Curry & Fig Dressing.
Roasting Beets: Place washed beets (save the greens for another recipe) on a large baking sheet that has been covered with aluminum foil. Toss lightly with olive oil and cover with another piece of aluminum foil sealing the two pieces of foil together. Roast beets for 1-1.5 hours at 350 degrees F on middle oven rack. Let the beets cool, peel off skin, and slice into 1/2 moon slices
Grilling Nectarines: Brush halved and pitted nectarines with olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Grill nectarines (cut sides down) on medium-high until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side.
Combine your ingredients on a decorative salad platter or on individual plates and serve with your preference of the Salad Girl Organic Dressings mentioned above.
The Bent River Camembert is made by the Alemar Cheese Company in Minnesota. It is a creamy, delectable, artisan, organic, cow’s milk cheese. The cheese is named after the sharp turn of the Minnesota River just a few hundred yards from the production site. Alemar Cheese works with a local dairy farm called Cedar Summit to use fresh organic milk just hours from the cows, www.alemarcheese.com. Camembert cheese has a white, downy rind and a creamy, smooth interior. The cheese should thickly ooze when perfectly ripe. Select Camembert that is soft and plump avoiding those with hard edges. If you’re unable to find Bent River Camembert, ask your cheese monger for a similar local cheese. This autumn salad provides great nutrition and memorable flavor and texture combinations. Enjoy !!
Recipe by Pam Powell
Article and Photograph by Sarah Baron Sullivan