Given the year we have had thus far, I keep forgetting what month it is. Even though we are already almost halfway through the summer, I keep forgetting that it is summertime. Summertime means bountiful produce, which means amazing fruits and vegetables. I found a lovely bag of nectarines at my local grocery store and I knew I just had to make something fresh and vibrant with them. Hello, Nectarine Spinach Salad.
This nectarine spinach salad covers all the notes. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, soft, and overall well balanced. It starts with a big bowl of baby spinach which is an open book to whatever you decide to pair it with. The salad dressing is not sweet, so it does not combat the sweetness of the nectarine slices. The slices of sweet onion offer a much needed bite, while the mozzarella adds a lovely creaminess. I am not sure if you have had mozzarella with nectarines before, but it’s delicious.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Greens: Baby spinach is the leaf choice for this salad. Some great alternatives would be chopped kale or arugula. If you use chopped kale, I would let the kale soak in the dressing prior to adding the additional ingredients.
- Inclusions/Toppings: The star of this salad is, of course, the nectarine slices. This fruit is absolutely necessary for the recipe. Peaches would make a good substitute, if desired. They are in season right now too. In addition to the nectarine slices, this recipe calls for sliced sweet onion and English cucumber. The cucumber adds a needed crunch. The onion combats the sweetness from the nectarine. Finally, the mozzarella balls add a needed creaminess. I used mini mozzarella balls here, but you can cut a larger ball of mozzarella into pieces too. If you do not like mozzarella, you could always substitute with feta or goat cheese.
- Dressing: This salad is tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. It is a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and dijon mustard. It is slightly bitter, which when paired with the sweet nectarines tastes wonderful.
This salad is relatively simple. You want to start by prepping your ingredients. This means slicing your onion, cucumber, and nectarines. I cut the nectarines in approximately 1/2-inch wedges. The onion should be sliced thin. I cut the cucumber in half, and then cut into 1/4-inch wedges.
Once your veggies have been prepped, it is time to move onto the salad dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and honey until emulsified and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, toss the spinach and onions with the salad dressing. Make sure to do this close to service, as the spinach will start to wilt slightly. Place half of your spinach onion blend into your service bowl. Evenly spread half of the nectarine slices, cucumber wedges, and mozzarella balls atop the spinach. Top with the remaining spinach onion blend and garnish with the last of the toppings. Serve immediately.
Though not pictured, I enjoyed a plate of this salad with some mixed nuts. I found that almonds were very tasty with this salad and added a delightful crunch. If you have them on hand, roasted almonds would make a great addition to this nectarine spinach salad.
I hope that this nectarine spinach salad brings you thoughts of summertime. Yes, it is late July. Hard to believe, right? Enjoy this salad safe at home on your patio with a glass of white wine. Serve it at your next barbecue. Or, enjoy it on a picnic. Whatever brings you summertime bliss, I hope you are able to add to it with this bright, vibrant salad.
Stay strong and stay safe<3
You may also like:
- Arugula Farro Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
Nectarine Spinach Salad
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- 8 oz baby spinach
- 2 nectarines pitted and sliced into ½-inch wedges
- ½ English cucumber sliced into ¼-inch wedges
- ¼ sweet onion sliced thin
- 6 oz mini mozzarella balls
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and dijon mustard until emulsified and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl, toss the spinach and onion slices in the vvinaigrette until everything is well coated.
- Place half of the spinach onion blend into the serving dish. Scatter half of the nectarine slices, mozzarella balls, and cucumber wedges over the spinach. Top with remaining spinach blend and garnish with the last of the toppings. Serve immediately.
- Optional and not pictured: Add 1/3 cup whole or sliced almonds
- If not serving immediately, prep all of your ingredients but do not dress salad until service.