This Grilled Nectarine Caprese Salad calls for grilling nectarines and a jalapeño, which bring some sweetness and spice to this classic summer dish.
What is a Caprese Salad?
"Caprese" directly translates to "of Capri", with Capri being a small Island in Italy. So "Insalata Caprese," the full Italian term, means "Salad of Capri," a simple dish of mozzarella and tomato.
Though I have not been to Capri, I have searched through many of its restaurants' menus in order to write this post. This type of salad really does exist on most of the menus there, in various presentations. See this menu from Villa Margherita as an example.
Some come with a light arugula salad and some come with burrata instead of mozzarella. Some are diced and tossed, while some are sliced and layered.
However, I have not found any restaurants that add fruit to the salad. So though I am calling my variation of this recipe Grilled Nectarine Caprese Salad, it is certainly not a traditional Caprese.
My Variation: Nectarine Caprese Salad
Grilling a nectarine is an excellent way to condense its sugars and create a more rich and savory flavor. In this Grilled Nectarine Salad, nectarines are grilled and served alongside juicy jersey tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, then topped with balsamic reduction, basil, olive oil, and grilled jalapeños.
Grilled nectarines are similar to tomatoes in texture, so they don't distract or overpower the dish. Similarly, jalapeños add a little spice without distracting from the most important ingredients: tomato, mozzarella, and nectarines.
This Caprese is so easy, you barely need a recipe. The basic process is to first grill halved nectarines and a whole jalapeño until charred and soft... Then slice arrange the nectarines on a platter alongside sliced tomatoes and mozzarella... Finally, top with the jalapeño (diced), fresh basil, olive oil, and a balsamic reduction. That's all!
Related recipes from On the Bias
Grilled nectarines are loaded with flavor and bring a delicious sweetness to a traditional caprese salad, while grilled jalapeños bring a touch of spice.
- 4 ripe nectarines, halved and pits removed
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1 large or extra large jersey tomato (I love big juicy summer tomatoes. If you don't have Jersey Tomatoes, use a big heirloom or hot house tomato)
- 2 Tb balsamic reduction (nee note 1)
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- olive oil
- salt for seasoning
- Start by brushing the flesh side of the halved nectarines with olive oil and seasoning them with a pinch of salt and paprika.
- Grill the nectarines and jalapeño over a medium flame for 4 minutes, then flip and grill for 4 more minutes. (nectarine skin will likely stick to the grill slightly. That's OK. Either discard it or scrape it off and use in the salad.)
- Allow the jalapeño and nectarines to cool slightly, then discard the jalapeño skin and seeds, and dice the jalapeño. Slice each cooked nectarine halve into 6 slices. Set them aside.
- Slice the tomato and mozzarella into 2 inch pieces. Arrange nectarines, mozzarella, and tomatoes on a platter. Top with fresh basil leaves, diced jalapeño, a dusting of salt, and drizzled balsamic reduction and olive oil.
- Serve right away (see note 2)
Note 1: Purchase balsamic glaze or make your own balsamic reduction by boiling ⅓ c of balsamic vinegar until it has reduced to 2 Tb.
Note 2: Whatever you do, DO NOT put this salad in the refrigerator once you have plated it. Firstly, a tomato should never go in the fridge. It's unbelievable how much flavor the refrigerator sucks out of a tomato. Secondly, fresh mozzarella will drain and mix with the tomatoes and balsamic as it sits, which is not as appealing as a freshly dressed salad. You can, however, make the balsamic reduction ahead of time if making your own if you want to get some prep work out of the way.
Keywords: nectarine caprese, grilled nectarine caprese, grilled nectarine caprese salad, grilled nectarine salad