i am nothing if not consistent. when reading a recipe, if it contains salt, i will add less than what is called for (that may be another topic for another day…). if it contains garlic, i will use (lots) more than specified. and if the recipe calls for peaches, i will invariably substitute in nectarines.
i know there are a lot of ardent peach lovers out there so, at the risk of alienating all of you and having you come after me with pitchforks, i’m just gonna say it: nectarines are better than peaches. i’m not even going to bring up the fact that peaches are furry; it seems like a low blow to bring up such an obvious deficiency. instead, i will just say that i find nectarines to have a far superior and much more pronounced flavor.
now that only 2 of you are still reading and you’re both on Team Nectarine, i will confess that i never even tried this salad with white peaches, as the “recipe” (really, it was just a list of ingredients) called for. i just knew it would be better with nectarines. because, always.
other than that little swap, it’s hard to know how much i adapted this recipe, since what i found that sparked this whole salad was a brief list of ingredients without any indication about quantities. the list of ingredients was only 5 items long though, and one of those ingredients was burrata cheese, so i figured it would be hard to go wrong.
all of that is to say, if you’d like to adjust the ratios/quantities in the below, have at it. and i suppppose that if you want to swap the white peaches in for the nectarines, as the original ingredient list had it, you could even do that. just don’t expect me to like it better than this version with nectarines.
- 4 oz. / 113 g. burrata, see notes
- 3 large nectarines (or peaches), ripe but not overly soft
- 2 tablespoons slivered or sliced unsalted almonds
- 3 – 4 large fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon)
- light dusting of chili powder, see notes
- place the almonds in a small, heavy bottom skillet over medium or medium-low heat. keep a close eye on them and stir them frequently because they will go from white to black quickly once they start to turn color (especially sliced ones, since they are so thin). we’re aiming for golden brown, and the nuts will continue to cook a little bit even once you remove them from the heat. take them off the burner and get them out of the hot pan as soon as they are light golden brown. this should take around 5 minutes, but, again, keep an eye on them and if you smell them, immediately check on them, especially the bottoms.
- slice or chop the nectarines into bite sized pieces, depending on your preference and how firmly the flesh is attached to the stone. spread the pieces out on a large plate or small serving platter.
- on a clean surface that you can scrape off onto the nectarines (to get every last bit of burrata), use a sharp knife to slice the burrata into ¼” (about ½ cm) slices. once you get past the first slice, the whole ball will invariably totally fall apart and start oozing the creamy ricotta-like insides everywhere. once you have your “slices” cut, arrange them on the nectarines then scrape any remaining burrata goodness off the cutting board and onto the nectarines.
- top the salad with the mint, almonds, and light dusting of chili powder.
- enjoy immediately!
burrata is a lovely combination of fresh mozzarella on the outside and creamy ricotta on the inside. if you can’t find it in the fancy cheese section of your local store (or sometimes in the produce section on ice near the tomatoes, if your grocery store likes to try to manipulate, i mean "help" you), you can substitute either fresh mozzarella or good ricotta (or, you could really go crazy and use a little bit of both!).
i know the chili powder sounds like a strange addition here but please do try it. the goal is not to make the salad spicy but just to add a little something to the combination of flavors. i used a very light hand when i sprinkled it on (see photos).
this salad is best enjoyed immediately but, if you had to, you could store it covered in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
in the vegetarian flavor bible, one of the flavor combinations listed for burrata is a version of this salad that was at one time served at verjus in paris. i never tried their version but, here’s mine!