Summer weather is really starting to heat up around here, which makes spending hours in a hot kitchen less than appealing. Now is not the time for lengthy braises; it’s time to embrace all of the wonderful summer produce in its freshest state. That’s why this week all the recipes I will be sharing will be heat-free. Anytime you visit this site from Monday to Friday, you will find recipes that can be made without turning on the stove, preheating the oven, turning on the grill, or starting the microwave because the last thing anyone wants to do right now is raise the temperature of his or her house a few degrees.
To start the week off, I made this simple avocado salad with nectarines and walnuts. I saw the two stone fruits sitting on the counter and imagined how good the creamy avocado would be against the sweet, juicy nectarine with a tangy lemon vinaigrette.
Despite how simple this is to put together, it ends up being a beautiful appetizer. The slices of the avocado and nectarine have a similar curvature that makes arranging them on a platter easy and elegant.
A good amount of sea salt enhances all the flavors while adding a nice textural finish.
Finally, a handful of crunchy chopped walnuts provide a slightly bitter finish to the dish to balance all of the sweetness from the fruits. I always like to pair avocados and walnuts together because I think that their flavor profiles echo one another, and after a little bit of research, I found that both of them contain quantities of the carbonyl hexanal that contribute to a walnut-like aroma, confirming my observations.
This salad makes for a nice appetizer as is, though if you wanted to create a slightly more substantial dish, you could serve it on top of a bed of lightly dressed arugula or a slice of artisan bread. Next time, you need some food in less than five minutes, turn to this dish.
Avocado Salad with Nectarines and Walnuts
Serves 4 as an appetizer
2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
3 ripe nectarines, pitted and sliced
Flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Freshly ground black pepper
- Arrange the fruit on a plate: alternate slices of avocado and nectarine either on a large serving platter or 4 individual plates. Season the tops of the fruit with 4 pinches of salt.
- Make the dressing: Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top of the avocado and nectarines.
- Sprinkle the walnuts on top of the salad, then top with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.