Heirloom tomatoes might be the summer garden’s most loved bounty. Freshly picked and warm from the sun, their tender flesh bursts with that unique blend of acid and natural sweetness. Maybe because tomatoes are technically a fruit, they pair exceptionally well with nectarines. Grilling the nectarines creates caramelization that concentrates their flavor and the herbs add a refreshing touch. The vibrant summer flavors are complemented by the rich texture from the ricotta crostoni. To make a full dinner of this salad, add a tossed field green salad, grilled chicken or seared tuna steak.
1 ear of white corn
2 ripe nectarines, cut into 1/2″ wedges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 slices of a rustic Macrina loaf (choose your favorite)
1 clove garlic
3 heirloom tomatoes, large dice
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons basil, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons mint, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons reduced balsamic vinegar*, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
*Note: You can purchase reduced balsamic vinegar or make your own by heating balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and reducing it by half. We recommend using balsamic vinegar imported from Italy (Aceto Balsamico di Modena).
Preheat grill to 400°F.
Peel the corn and brush the kernels lightly with olive oil. Place the corn directly on the grill, rotating every 3 minutes until fully cooked on all sides. Remove the corn and let it cool before using a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. Set aside.
Toss the nectarines in 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and place across the grate. Grill for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.
Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. You want grill marks for the caramelized flavor. Remove grilled bread and rub both sides of each slice with a raw garlic clove for extra flavor. Set aside.
In a medium bowl add the tomatoes, corn, nectarines, basil, parsley and mint. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1-1/2 teaspoon reduced balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before serving.
When you’re ready to eat, spread 2 tablespoons of ricotta on each slice of grilled bread and drizzle with remaining reduced balsamic vinegar. Divide the salad between 4 plates and add the ricotta crostoni.