August is prime time for California nectarines, peaches, and plums—all considered “stone fruits” because of the stone, or pit, inside. If you have never grilled them, you are in for a treat. Grilling heightens their sweetness and lightly caramelizes their natural sugar. For this salad, you can use nectarines alone, or a combination of stone fruits. Serve as a separate course at a dinner party or as a side salad with grilled sausages. In larger portions, the salad makes a beautiful summer lunch.
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large ear of corn, shucked
- 2 large nectarines, ripe but firm
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 large, thin slices prosciutto
- 3 handfuls of baby arugula, about 3 ounces (85 g)
- ¼ cup (25 g) sliced almonds, toasted
- Crumbled feta, optional
Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and shallot and let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring a pot of unsalted water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes. With tongs, transfer the corn to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob.
Prepare a medium charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium. Halve and pit the nectarines. Cut each half in half again. Brush all over with olive oil. Grill on the cut sides until the fruit is lightly charred and slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Drape a slice of prosciutto on each of 4 salad plates (or put all 4 slices on one platter, if serving family style). In a bowl, combine the arugula and corn kernels and toss with just enough dressing to coat lightly. Divide among the salad plates. Top with the warm nectarine wedges. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and with crumbled feta, if using. Serve immediately.