Every once in awhile you meet a salad and you think, “This is my very favorite.” Then you come across another salad and the same thing happens. Well, friends, this salad is the salad that ended that for me. This is my very, very favorite salad. I’m ready to say my vows and pledge my undying love. This salad is THE salad.
This salad has complete balance of flavor and texture–the arugula is peppery, the nectarines are sweet and juicy, the fennel lends its anise-y deliciousness and a nice crunch, the onion is pungent, the ricotta salata is salty…and then the Honey Wine Vinegar is tangy and sweet. Come to mama.
Even my toughest critic, my husband, loves this salad. He usually turns his nose up at all the salads I make with fruit, but this is one he really likes. (We might have argued over who ate the most and didn’t leave enough for the other.)
Nectarine, Fennel, Arugula Salad with Ricotta Salata, Red Onion and Honey Wine Vinaigrette
4 oz. fresh argula
1-2 firm ripe nectarines, thinly sliced into wedges
1 small fennel bulb, core removed and very, very thinly sliced
2 oz. ricotta salata, thinly sliced, or crumbled
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings (or 1/4 of a large red onion)
3 pinches of fennel pollen
1 Tbsp. fresh fennel fronds (the green tops), snipped into small pieces
1 Tbsp Honey Wine Vinegar (or white wine vinegar mixed with 1/2 tsp. raw honey)
1 Tbsp. good-quality extra virgin olive oil
a sprinkle of sea salt
On a large serving platter, layer the arugula, fennel, nectarines, ricotta salata and red onion. Sprinkle with the fennel pollen and fennel fronds. Whisk together the Honey Wine Vinegar and olive oil. Drizzle over the top and sprinkle the whole salad with a little sea salt.
Makes enough for 2-4
Caputo’s Market provided the Honey Wine Vinegar and Ricotta Salata for this recipe.