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nectarine saladHappy 4th of July! Once again, a holiday sneaks up on me and I am here, at the last gasp, tippy tapping away trying to write a relevant post. My excuse is that as an ex-pat American living in the UK we of course don’t celebrate the 4th. While the US is celebrating getting away from past religious intolerance and heavy taxes (no comment), we – the offending country – might have a little shelf at Tescos with red, white and blue foods. Aside from fresh berries, it is all unnatural. Of course.

But I know that Stateside the only way to not know it is The Fourth of July (it has to be in caps, btw) is to be in sedated in hospital, or living deep in a wood somewhere with only bears and wolves for company.  I trust none of you fall into those categories.

nectarine saladLike Thanksgiving and even Christmas, The Fourth is about family and food. Or food and family, depending on how well you like your kith and kin. But unlike these other holidays the Fourth is almost always outdoors: kids running around like demented bees, balls thwacked into leather gloves, fireworks set off just a little too close for comfort, and of course long tables set out with more food than anyone could possibly hope to eat. Much of it will be barbecued – mainly meat, but things like devilled eggs and colourful salads also feature very highly.

It’s been awhile since I was involved in Fourth of July preparations, but from what I see on Pinterest the weekend (not just a day this year) all is still red white and blue. Even BBQ ribs will probably have a little miniature flag stuck into them.

If I were going to a Fourth of July celebration this is the salad I would bring. It is not red, white and blue of course, so I may be disqualified in some neighbourhoods, but it is a perfect foil to the heavier fare typical of the holiday. And the ‘magic’ dressing could go on just about any salad (grain ones too) and even be used to marinate chicken and fish.

Speaking of marinating, this is one of the top tips from the American Institute of Cancer Research on how to barbecue more safely. You see, the acids in vinegar (and citrus) help to neutralise some pretty nasty compounds being formed while grilling meat. Homemade marinades taste pretty awesome and tenderise too. If you want more healthy tips on grilling safely, visit their page, and also my friend Conner’s page over at Modern Mediterranean. Trust me, if you grill meat you will want to read how best to do it safely and healthily for your family and friends.

So to the salad. The magic ingredient is nectarines. Or peaches. They blend up so creamy and light that you won’t want or need to add any oil or dairy. Not that oil is bad of course, but I like to have a bigger helping of pecans and avocado rather than a extra oil where it it isn’t absolutely required. Try it for yourself. The great bonus – other than the texture and flavour – about a salad like this you can keep the dressing and salad separate and mix on the spot. You don’t have to worry about refrigerating the dressing and can keep the cool bags and boxes stocked only with ice lollies. Some of these coming tomorrow :-). Healthy ones, natch. Here’s sneak preview from my phone

food to glow ice lollies preview

food to glow ice lollies preview

Incidentally, I mention raspberry vinegar but just use any fruit vinegar you like or all apple cider vinegar. The raspberries and raspberry vinegar give an extra flavour – peach melba-ish I suppose, but I like it just fine without. If you want to capitalise on raspberry season beyond the usual desserts and jams, raspberry vinegar is very simple to make. Here is a link to my fruit vinegars recipe if you want to give it a try. And go on, have a look at my post on blackcurrant and raspberry jam while you’re at it – it’s my favourite jam Ever.

Before I give you the recipe, don’t forget to comment on my last post for your chance to to win a bakeware set from Viner’s. UK only, but new kale crisp recipes up too!

What salads are you having this Fourth of July (include a link to your recipe if you like)? Are you celebrating with family and friends? Or, are you elsewhere and at work, wishing you could have red white and blue BBQ ribs/tofu? 🙂

nectarine salad

White Nectarine and Pecan Salad with a Quick Nectarine and Raspberry Dressing

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Peaches and nectarines of any hue are welcome in this quick and easy salad. The dressing is perfect for picnics and outdoor eating – creamy in texture but with no dairy whatsoever. It is just a nectarine, some raspberry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), a few raspberries, a touch of Dijon mustard and a dash of seasoning.  It is a dressing I am frequently asked the recipe for but have only just written it up as it just seemed too simple. Simple and delicious. Carry the salad and separate dressing along to your Fourth of July celebrations as a healthy alternative to what is an indulgent and fun weekend. Enjoy! K x

The Salad

120 gm or so of salad leaves of choice (biggish bag) – baby spinach is a classic, but mix it up with some other stuff too, like lamb’s lettuce, chicory and rocket, washed and spun/patted dry

2 white nectarines or other nectarines/peaches

One quarter cucumber  (half a US one, peeled and deseeded, if necessary)

½ ripe avocado

Good handful of pecan nuts or walnuts

The Magic Dressing

1 nectarine or peach, stoned removed

6 raspberries (optional)

½ tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp raspberry vinegar

2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or all of either)

A little water or good oil to thin, as necessary (not too much – keep it ‘creamy’ and tasty)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Maple syrup, as required

1. Make up the dressing by roughly chopping the nectarine and adding it to the bowl of a mini chopper or similar (can use a hand blender/jug combination), along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until creamy and a lovely pink colour. Taste and adjust the flavour – maybe add a little maple syrup if too tart for you.  Pour into a jug and set aside.

2. Put together the salad by washing and tearing the salad leaves as necessary. Now cut the nectarine lengthways along its natural line and pull in half. Slice lengthways down through the flesh to make long slices and gently pull away from the stone. Or do how it is best for you.

3. Slice the cucumbers how you wish – slices or small chunks; slip the avocado from its shell and dice or slice. If you wish, lightly toast the nuts in the oven – 180C/350F – for about eight minutes and cool.

4. Layer up the salad ingredients and dress just before serving.

magic nectarine dressing

‘magic’ nectarine dressing

43 thoughts on “‘Magic’ Nectarine Dressing + White Nectarine and Pecan Salad

  1. This looks divine! I pinned it and will be making this but will seek organic options as peaches and nectarines are heavily sprayed. Thanks so much and Happy Birthday, America!

  2. abi461 says:

    Happy 4th of July (from a Brit in the US)!! This looks really delicious!

    1. Thank you! I hope you had a lovely day, probably working I’m sure but maybe you had a slap-up dinner??

  3. Espirational says:

    Will have to try that. The dressing looks really good.

  4. Lori says:

    This salad and dressing sound so refreshing!

  5. thehealthminded says:

    This looks delicious. I have pinned it and will seek organic peaches or nectarines as they are heavily sprayed. Thanks so much for the inspiration and Happy Birthday America!

    1. Yes, you are right. Peaches/necs and celery are pretty notorious for chemical bombardment. I have a link in my sidebar to update on all pesticides for US and UK but it is a good reminder in your comment. And thanks for the pin!

  6. What a great post! I just followed you to stay updated on your future posts and I look forward to them. I just started my own vegan/political blog, so feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!
    http://MannyRutinel.com

    Have a great day! 😀

  7. Yum, this is my kind of salad. Love the whole fruit in the dressing! Happy 4th to my fellow American expat. 😉

    1. I hope you had a lovely 4th. It is kind of weird being away from ‘home’ when there is a big family-oriented day, isn’t it? Makes me quite nostalgic..

  8. Happy 4th July, Kellie ☺️ the salad dressing looks amazing, so inventive! I hope you have a great weekend xx

  9. Deena Kakaya says:

    Where, oh where do you get these ideas from Kellie. That magic dressing sounds zingy, looks pretty and light. I wouldn’t have imagined it with avocado and cucumber but now that you show us, it makes complete sense. Happy 4th July my friend x

    1. I hope you find the time to make this because I know you appreciate the taste and texture of it – even if it isn’t spicy!

  10. What a perfect looking salad. I’m sure my whole family will love this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My family likes it a lot so I do hope yours will too. If you eat meat, it would be delicious with added mozzarella and Parma ham!

  11. Happy 4th July. I faffed around trying to pretend beetroot was blue for a tomato beetroot and mozzarella salad. I almost convinced myself! Sad not to have the opportunity to experience 4th July in USA – but at least I had thanksgiving during my short spell as an American! This looks gorgeous. Am wondering whether it would work with apricots too?

    1. You would definitely have loved it, Ceri. But you were there for the pinnacle of the American eating experience of Thanksgiving, so that’s what counts. And yes, a juicy, juicy aromatic couple of apricots would be gorgeous. I haven’t come across a great apricot yet this season, but if you do save couple for this dressing. Surprisingly creamy!

  12. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    I love love love the sound of this one, Kellie… this is my kind of Aussie summer salad. Pinning for later.

    1. Thanks Liz. I have a version of this quite frequently as these are things that are around just now. I love peaches and nectarines so much but unfortunately we can’t grow good ones this far north. Italian ones are fabulous. I bet you all grown them right there in Canberra.

  13. narf77 says:

    That dressing looks good enough to glug from the bottle. No nectarines here at the moment but lots of apples and pears and the odd chestnut hanging around for good luck. Lots of hot things steaming out of the oven and from the top of the stove and no thoughts about ice cream at ALL (no “legal” thoughts, winter has seen my derriere start to expand so no more ice cream, no matter HOW healthy it is, for a while…)

    1. Even a skinnifreddo?? I’m sure your derriere is just fine, Fran. Enjoy your cosy food. We only have a small window of summer foods so we’ll be joining you stove-top cookers soon enough 😉

      1. narf77 says:

        Quite a few months confined to quarters beavering away with studies and within comfort range of the fridge has seen my derriere expand considerably. I am currently back to basics. No coconut cream on my breakfast buckwheat porridge and no extra dates. We have a larger window of summer foods thanks to our close proximity to the mainland but our season here is pretty short as well. We live vicariously through the efforts of others 😉

  14. Sophie33 says:

    That dressing looks freaking delicious, I liked it on FB too! 🙂

    1. I am making this loads right now. So easy and the fruit and vinegar together is terrific

      1. Sophie33 says:

        I bet! x Have a great Sunday!!

      2. You too, Sophie. I’m out for afternoon tea with a friend so I have had a light, healthy breakfast in anticipation of many carbs to come!

      3. Sophie33 says:

        I can imagine, enjoy yourself though! x

  15. Beth Berger says:

    I love having a lighter option to bring to picnics and BBQ’s. This looks divine!

  16. What a lovely salad for summer days – I can imagine this would be lovely with flat peaches too. Saving for later and pinning

  17. Tracey says:

    I agree with you that July 4th celebrations are heavy on grilled meats so I always bring along a large protein rich vegetarian salad. Here’s a healthy salad recipe that I posted for The Fiesta Friday blog party.
    http://whatsfordinnerdoc.com/2014/07/04/quinoa-arugula-greek-salad/
    Tracey@WhatsforDinnerDoc.com

    1. Great recipe, Tracey. Thanks for giving us the link! I hope you enjoyed your 4th weekend 🙂

  18. thespicyrd says:

    Love your magic dressing, and this salad looks fabulous! We had a bittersweet 4th of July as Big Tex’s All-Star baseball team made it all th way to the championship game in the tournament, but lost their last game on the 4th. There were a few tears, shortly subdued by a burger and brownie milkshake (for him) and the yummiest grilled ahi burger on a gluten-free bun (for me), then later we watched 7 sets of fireworks from our friends house, so all in all a wonderful day 🙂

    1. That’s a shame. Poor Tex. But it sounds like he – and your family – had the consolation of delish food!

  19. Ooohhh, this dressing looks great! I’m not really into salad dressings normally, but this one looks up my alley. And I bet it would go perfectly with my breakfast salad! I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July!

    1. It would go great with your breakfast salad!

  20. This salad and dressing sounds so refreshing on a hot day! I love the idea of topping it with some grilled shrimp or salmon!

  21. Schnippelboy says:

    Schöne gesunde Rezepte. So essen wir auch, Werde bestimmt wieder schauen was es Neues gibt, oder ih Ihrer Rezeptsammlung stöbern. Freue mich Ihre Seite gefunden zu haben
    Schnippelboy

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