Summer nectarine salad with fresh basil dressing

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:45 p.m. ET

This beautiful salad is the epitome of a summer meal. Sweet sun-ripened nectarines and creamy Gouda cheese are tossed with spicy arugula and crunchy walnuts. Drizzled with a fresh basil dressing, this dish is excellent served with a glass of white wine or alongside pasta.

Summer nectarine salad with fresh basil dressing

This is one delicious and beautiful summer salad. The flavors are fresh, spicy, creamy and lightly fruity with a hint of earthiness from the basil dressing. Using nectarines really adds nice texture with a hint of sweetness that isn't overpowering. If you cannot find Gouda cheese, which has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, try diced havarti.

Summer nectarine salad with fresh basil dressing recipe

Yields 4 small salads or 2 large salads


For the salad

  • 3 cups organic arugula, washed and dried
  • 3 cups organic baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 2-3 very ripe organic nectarines, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup diced Gouda cheese (havarti can be substituted)

For the dressing

  • 1 very large handful fresh basil
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon champagne vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a blender add all of the ingredients for the dressing and blend until the dressing is nice and smooth. Set aside
  2. To assemble the salad in a large bowl add the spinach and arugula, sliced nectarines, the diced cheese, walnuts and the croutons. Add half of the basil dressing and toss everything very well. Serve immediately and serve with additional dressing if desired.

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