The sun is out, so we’re celebrating sweet and juicy nectarines and peaches with these delicious summer recipes.
Nectarine and burrata salad with quick garlic croutons and a balsamic dressing
The sweetness of stone fruits is enhanced when grilled, giving a beautiful caramelised, smoky flavour. Alongside creamy burrata and a simple, sticky balsamic dressing, this salad only has a handful of ingredients and is quick to pull together, proving that there really can be so much beauty (and flavour) in simplicity. Top with easy garlic croutons for lots of contrasting textures too.
2 slices of white bread
2 garlic cloves, halved 250g bag of rocket Handful of basil leaves
3 just-ripe nectarines, stoned and cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ball of burrata (or use 200g mozzarella pearls)
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Start by making the croutons. Grill (or toast) the slices of bread until golden. Once toasted and while still hot, rub the halved garlic cloves over each side, then use a sharp knife to slice the bread into cubes.
- Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl or mug and whisk together with a fork.
- Toss the rocket and three-quarters of the basil together in a serving dish and set aside until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
- Place a griddle pan or large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Put the nectarine wedges into a bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and use your hands to lightly coat the fruit in the oil. Once the pan is hot, place the nectarines cut side down in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden and charred.
- To assemble the salad, lay the griddled fruit over the rocket and basil, then use your hands to tear over the burrata. Scatter over the croutons and then drizzle over dressing. Finish with a grind of black pepper, a generous pinch of salt, the chilli flakes (if using) and the remaining basil leaves.
Peach, honey and thyme tarts
The combination of warm fruit with honey and thyme, especially on top of flaky, buttery pastry brushed with vanilla-infused cream cheese, is decadent and light all at once. This is an easy, throw-together dessert and you can use whatever fruits need using up, although you can’t beat a delicious peach when they’re in season.
375g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
180g cream cheese
4 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or use vanilla extract)
3 peaches, halved, stoned and sliced into thin wedges
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Honey, for drizzling
Fresh thyme leaves
Icing sugar, to serve
- If you are using frozen pastry, defrost overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about an hour. Don’t unroll it until all of your toppings are ready. Preheat the oven to 240°C/ Gas Mark 10.
- Unroll the puff pastry on to a large baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Use a sharp knife to slice the sheet into 6 even rectangles, then score a border (about a finger width) around the edges of each piece of pastry. This will puff up into a beautiful, flaky crust.
- Put the cream cheese into a bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk to beat until smooth. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat again until combined. Use a spoon to spread this mixture on to each tartlet, avoiding the border you have scored. Top each one with wedges of peach and sprinkle over the brown sugar.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the borders with the beaten egg; this gives the pastry a shiny, golden finish. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the base is cooked.
- Once baked, remove from the oven then generously drizzle with honey and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Just before serving, finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
Complement your peach and thyme tart with a peach-infused cocktail or beer. Delish!
For more summer recipes, head here.