To dress the greens, use a good-quality fruity olive oil as the base. For the vinegar, my preference is to use white wine vinegar.
I never pour the vinaigrette directly on the greens. I always drizzle it the Bobby Flay way. But first, it’s best to season the greens with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Why? According to Flay in a Bon Appetit magazine interview years ago, it’s pretty simple: They need it.
When you’re ready to add the vinaigrette, do so just before you’re ready to serve so the greens don’t soak in it. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette along the inner perimeter (closest to the sides) of the salad bowl. Starting from the sides and using salad tongs, draw the greens (and other ingredients) to the center, tossing lightly.
You don’t want to drench the greens and other ingredients so they look limp. Keep in mind soft greens, light Bibb lettuces and radicchio, need less dressing.
Today’s recipe is just super. It brings together nectarines, fennel and asparagus on a bed of greens. You can also load it up with any vegetables you like. The cooking portion is only in grilling the nectarines and asparagus. You could also grill the fennel, just cut the pieces bigger so they don’t fall through the grill grates.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Nectarines with Asparagus and Fennel
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
8 cups favorite mixed salad greens
1 small fennel bulb, cleaned, thinly sliced
8 asparagus spears
4 medium nectarines cut in half, seed removed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 slices (1/2-ounce each) prosciutto
1/2 cup good-quality fruity olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
Rinse the greens well and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry. Set aside in a bowl and add the fennel slices.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle the asparagus spears and nectarines with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the asparagus with salt and pepper. Grill the nectarines, cut side down, until just tender and you get good grill marks. Grill the asparagus the same way. Remove both from the grill and cool.
Slice each prosciutto slice in half lengthwise. When the nectarines are cool enough to handle, wrap a prosciutto slice around each half.
In a small bowl whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients. Add the vinaigrette a little bit at a time to the greens and toss. Use only enough to coat the greens evenly. Or serve the vinaigrette on the side. Place the greens mixture on individual dinner plates. Top each with 2 nectarine halves and 2 asparagus spears. Serve with crusty bread.
From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis with dressing.
301 calories (60 percent from fat), 20 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 331 mg sodium, 13 mg cholesterol, 85 mg calcium, 6 g fiber.