Sliced nectarines, peaches and apricots make excellent salad ingredients when their sweetness is balanced with a savoury component. If blue cheese doesn’t appeal, try feta, mozzarella, Parma ham or shredded roast chicken
For the nectarine dressing
1 ripe nectarine, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 1⁄2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1⁄2 tsp coarse mustard 1 tsp honey
For the salad
100g sourdough bread, torn into bite-sized chunks 2 tbsp olive oil 100g wild rocket leaves 3 ripe nectarines, halved, stoned and sliced 120g Stilton or other strong blue cheese, crumbled
Step 1) To make the dressing, pulse all the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor with a tablespoon of water, seasoning to taste. Use straightaway or cover and chill for up to 2 days.
Step 2) Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Toss the sourdough bread with oil and toast for about 8 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and crisp at the edges.
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Step 3) A few minutes before assembling the salad, spoon a third of the dressing over the toasted bread and toss together. Toss another third of the dressing with the rocket, nectarines, blue cheese and sourdough chunks. Dish out and drizzle with the remaining dressing, to taste.
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