Quick foodie question: What’s the difference between a nectarine and a peach?
The simple answer is, there really is no difference between the two fruit – it’s just that one has fuzz and the other doesn’t.
Nectarines are a stone fruit (it means they have a pit) that are at their peak in mid- to late summer. Yes, the fruits have slightly different tastes and textures, but it’s really so slight that in a peeled, blind taste test it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. They can be substituted for each other in most any recipe. And rather than give you a bunch of facts about the fruit, I thought I would give you recipes instead and let you get started cooking.
Salmon with Fresh Nectarine Berry Compote
6 5-ounce fresh, skinless salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick
4 tablespoons bottled barbecue sauce
3 nectarines, pitted and chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
Brush the salmon with 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce and season the salmon with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or grill, cook the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes until done. While it’s cooking, combine the nectarines, blueberries, pecans and the remaining barbecue sauce in a bowl. Mix well, mashing the fruit slightly. Season with salt. Serve salmon with salsa and lemon wedges. Serves 6.
1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 nectarines, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set it aside. In the bowl of a food processor, process the pecans until they are finely ground. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the egg yolk and pulse until combined. Arrange the nectarine halves, cut sides up, in the baking pan. Divide pecan/sugar mixture between the nectarine halves, mounding it in center of each half. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle it over the top of the nectarines. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t let the nectarines get too soft. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Great served with whipped cream or ice cream.
Nectarine, Mango and Avocado Salad
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 head red leaf or romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 to 3 cups fresh baby spinach
4 nectarines, sliced
2 mangos, sliced
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Smoked almonds or candied almonds for garnish
In a bowl combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate. In another bowl, combine the lettuce, spinach, nectarines, mango and onions. Toss to combine. Gently add the avocado and spoon the dressing over the top. Gently mix to combine. Garnish with the almonds. Serves 8.