This salad is blowing up my entire summer.
It has EVERYTHING.
It has figs. It has nectarines. It has crispy pancetta slices and goat cheese and avocado and omg PISTACHIOS. It has a crazy nectarine vinaigrette that I could probably drink out of a straw right now because I want all things tart and briney and vinegary. It’s the perfect mix of flavors and textures that I am LOV.ING.
It makes me not hate Monday.
This was such a welcomed change – a few weeks ago I finally ate a salad and it tasted SO good. Complicated flavor combos haven’t been doing me any favors lately and this was one of the first trashed up salads I could get behind.
Let’s be real. Probably because of the pancetta. Of course. I’m sure.
That’s just how it goes.
This is like that weeknight salad that you aren’t quite sure can pass for dinner but can totally pass for dinner. It’s my summer version of this salad. It can also be a weekend salad and then you can add extra goat cheese and pancetta and essentially eat a salad of goat cheese and pancetta with a side of greens… perhaps while starting to watch the entire series of the west wing again because you can’t sleep and the characters feel like your friends.
Is that sad? It was like midnight. They are my midnight friends. I should probably start living in 2014 and not 2006.
The perfect accompaniment to this salad is a fresh baguette. Now THAT is a complete meal. The second I made us (and yes, I say “us” but no, my husband would never classify this as a real meal – he adds chicken) I added the softest on the inside but crustiest on the outside baguette and it was heaven. It makes for the perfect ending too because the residual dressing is sweet and savory.
(And then you add extra goat cheese. Duh.)
It will just make you feel good!
And full. And happy. And maybe like you want six more baguettes.
Nectarine and Fig Summer Salad with Crispy Pancetta
Yield: serves 2 to 4
Total Time: 35 minutes
4 cups spring greens
2 cups baby arugula
8 slices of pancetta, fried
2 nectarines, sliced
1 cup fresh figs, quartered
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 large nectarine, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup golden balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 garlic clove, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Add the greens and arugula to a large bowl and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the pancetta, sliced nectarines, figs, goat cheese, avocado and pistachio to the greens and toss as desired. Dress with the nectarine vinaigrette!
Add the nectarine cubes to a blender or food processor and blend until completely pureed. I have a vitamix and it purees it completely, but if your blender leaves some chunks, you can add a little water to the blender, blend it and then strain out the juice. Combine the nectarine puree, vinegar, hoey, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
I mean this classifies as eating color right?