Nectarine, watercress and toasted almond salad with lime dressing

Peaches and watercress Toasting almonds

The Good Life, 328pp.
by Adrian Richardson
Pan Macmillan, Australia, 2011
Cooking on page 32

It’s been almost two years since I typed out this recipe when we visited our dear Emma in Perth, Western Australia. Emma was our second of 27 exchange students. Over the years, those wonderful young people stayed in our home for anywhere up to 12 months.

Emma came to us more than a decade ago and now she’s emigrating to Australia. The country is all the luckier to have her.

Emma owns this cookbook. It’s by Adrian Richardson of the Good Chef, Bad Chef duo on Australian television. Adrian is the baddie—using lavish amounts of butter, bacon and other calorie-laden foods—but this page-32 recipe makes him look like the goodie.

Nectarines have a short season so, when they are available, Adrian likes to uses them in both savoury and sweet dishes. He says this salad goes well with roasted duck or chicken. Sometimes he adds roughly crumbled goat’s cheese.

Nectarine, watercress and almond salad

Nectarine, watercress and toasted almond salad with lime dressing

6 ripe nectarines
1 lime
2 cups watercress sprigs
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chives snipped in 4cm lengths
3 tablespoons dill springs
3 tablespoons almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

Salad dressing

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice of two limes
1 teaspoon French grain mustard
freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside until ready to use.

Cut the nectarines in half and remove the stones (there’s no need to peel them). Slice each half into thirds and arrange on a large serving platter.

Peeled lime and zest

Use a small, sharp knife to cut the peel from the lime. Hold the lime in one hand and use the other hand to cut on either side of each segment to remove wedges of flesh, leaving the membranes behind.

Scatter the lime segments over the nectarines, followed by the watercress, herbs and almonds. Drizzle on the dressing and serve straight away.

How it played out
With a short season for nectarines and the fact that watercress is rather hard to come by in Canberra, it’s no wonder it’s taken me two years to bring together this recipe.

Sugared peaches

Of course, then I cheated in one aspect. I used fruit from the wild-sown peach tree that grows between our driveway and the neighbour’s. Why the tree is there at all is another story for another time.

It’s still a young tree, so the peaches are on the small side—weighing only 60 grams each—so I used eight. My only other change was to scatter the lime wedges and a few extra peach slices over the top of the finished salad.

As an aside, I googled whether to use watercress stems: the advice was to trim off all the thicker ones.

Limes and mustard

Excellent salad. I’ll make it again next year when a new crop of peaches ripen. I’ve already used up the last of this year’s harvest in place of figs in a wonderful cake—another page-32 recipe.

In the land of stone fruit
We travelled through Central Asia about this time last year, where almonds, nectarines and peaches were in abundant supply. But alas there was no watercress.


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Fruit, Light meal, Nuts, Salad, Side dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Nectarine, watercress and toasted almond salad with lime dressing

  1. Pingback: Not all bridges are pretty, but this one is gorgeous | Where to next?

  2. Mama Cormier says:

    You’re right, this salad is pretty. I’m definitely going to try this one.

  3. When translating water cress to German I stumbled upon a list of the healthiest vegetables/fruits. Apple? Broccoli? Forget it. On the top of the list stands water cress. Although I don´t give much for lists like this one, Adrian Richardson does not quite sound to be the “Bad Chef” to me since he uses water cress. And by the way, what is wrong with lavish amounts of butter? It is simply needed for a good potato puree. Adrian uses bamix as I also do. I just call it Zauberstab. I think I like him. Or am I just a bad Chef as well?

    • leggypeggy says:

      Watercress is a wonderful vegetable. I really should try to grow it in the garden.
      Adrian isn’t always called the bad chef. He makes a lot of healthy recipes, and I am really drawn to the choices he makes—butter is a good thing usually. Maybe that makes all three of us bad chefs. 🙂

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