The best summer salads are the ones that have sweet fresh stone fruit in them. This Nectarine Arugula Salad definitely counts as one of the best salads ever!
The Salad Ingredients
This salad is super simple. 4 main ingredients and a simple 4-ingredient dressing. If you love simple salads like this one make sure you also try my Watermelon Arugula Salad. It’s the bomb!
The base is arugula which I don’t recommend exchanging by any other lettuce. It’s unique and tastes like no other lettuce.
You can easily replace the nectarines by peaches or even apricots. Though then you can’t call the salad Nectarine Arugula Salad anymore of course.
The feta cheese is pretty unique as well and usually, I don’t recommend using another cheese to replace it. However, the other day I tried this salad with Baladi – a Middle Eastern cheese that is similar but not quite as strong as the feta we know from the grocery store – and it tasted pretty amazing so I guess there is always an exception to every rule.
Pecans can easily be replaced with literally any other nut you have on hand. Walnut is my favorite replacement.
The dressing is very simple and I’m sure you have all ingredients on hand.
If you want to avoid the added sugar through the Balsamic reduction simple omit or replace with pure Balsamic vinegar.
How To Slice Nectarines
The easiest way is to use ripe but still firm nectarines.
- Cut around the stone of the nectarine and then hold each half in one hand and turn the hands into opposite directions to remove one half from the stone.
- Use the knife to make small incisions around the stone and try to pull it out of the other half.
- Now all you have to do is slice the nectarines.
If the nectarine is overly ripe this method will not work. The best way to slice it then is to cut off the flesh just next to the stone on either side and maybe use one extra nectarine to get nice slices for your beautiful Nectarine Arugula Salad. Simply eat the remaining flesh around the stone with your teeth pulling it right off the stone to not waste what’s left stuck to the stone.
Nectarine Arugula Salad
- 5 oz arugula
- 2 nectarines
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 3 oz feta cheese
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Balsamic reduction / glaze
- Cut the nectarines in half along the stones then turn the halves in opposite directions to remove from the stone. If the nectarines are too ripe this won't work and you'll have to cut off pieces directly from the whole fruit.
- Use a heavy knife to chop the pecans coarsely.
- Use your hands to crumble the feta into small pieces.
- Add the juice of half a lemon to a sealable jar, then add Dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper to taste, and olive oil and then shake until the dressing is well combined and creamy.
- Add arugula to a salad bowl, top with sliced nectarines, chopped pecans, crumbled feta. Drizzle with dressing and mix only minutes before serving. Then drizzle balsamic reduction on top at the end without mixing in.