Nectarine, Fennel, Arugula Salad with Ricotta Salata, Red Onion and Honey Wine Vinaigrette

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.

I first threw this salad together to go with the Grilled Lamb Patties. It was the perfect compliment.  On Sunday night I made it again to go with Tomato Zucchini Bisque with Pistou.

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.

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  1. I know this feeling….the last salad is always the best you had. Ever. :D
    but this little concoction looks lovely indeed, I am sure it tasted divine :)

  2. I can’t get over how ridiculously gorgeous this is. Your photos are breath taking and the flavors in this are unbelievable. I’m so making this before peach season is over- so like this week or next! xo

  3. I will tell you what the best salad for me is… the first one I eat after coming back from Africa and not being able to eat one for 6 weeks. Who knew airport salad tasted so good? :) Your salad looks great- love the pics. :)

  4. So, If this salad is your favorite for life and you are committed to that….it should be named the Wedding Salad, instead of the list of ingredients. <3

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