7 Recipes Of Nectarines: Sweet And Savoury Dishes For All The Fruit Enthusiasts

Nectarines, like peaches, most likely originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and were cultivated in ancient Persia, Greece and Rome. They were grown in Great Britain in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, and were introduced to America by the Spanish. The word “nectarine” comes from the Greek “nekter,” which refers to the drink of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology.

Nectarines are small and smooth skinned golden yellow with large blushes of red. Their yellow flesh has a noticeable pink tinge, with a distinct aroma and a more pronounced flavor. There are more than 100 varieties of nectarine, in freestone and clingstone varieties. Nectarines are more delicate than peaches and bruise very easily.

Nectarines are low in calories with no sodium or cholesterol. Nectarines are considered a subacid fruit and can be mixed with any fruit. They leave an alkaline ash that is critical for good health, and are best eaten raw. They are wonderful dried.

Ripe fruit are fragrant and give, slightly, to the touch. If they are under-ripe, leave them at room temperature for 2–3 days to ripen. Look for fruit with smooth unblemished skin. Avoid extremely hard or dull colored fruits and soft fruit with soft, wrinkled, punctured skin.

California nectarines are available from late April and to late August. Almost all of the nectarines available are in California. Chiliean Nectarines are available from late December through early March.

Source: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, www.health-care-clinic.org

Image by Martin Moller available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

Nectarine and Chickpea Couscous Salad With Honey Cumin Dressing

1 ¼ cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped nectarines (about 3 medium)
½ cup coarsely chopped spinach
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
1 (15 ½ ounce) can chickpeas , drained
nectarine , slices

Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 40 mins

1. Add water to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil; gradually stir in couscous.
2. Take pan off of stove burner, cover and let stand 5 minutes.
3. Fluff with a fork; let cool.
4. In a mixing bowl, add the lime juice and next 5 ingredients; whisk to blend.
5. Add in couscous, chopped nectarines, spinach, onion, and chickpeas; toss mixture.
6. Adjust seasoning with salt/pepper if desired.
7. Serve on individual plates; garnish with nectarine slices.

Servings: 6

Nectarine Relish for Chicken

2 medium nectarines
½ red bell pepper
2 small scallions , white and light green parts
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (sub with 1/4 t fresh ginger, peeled and minced)
1 teaspoon liquid honey
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon agave syrup, to taste (or more)
1 pinch pepper
1 tablespoon fresh basil , minced

Prep Time: 28 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

1. Note: If you sub fresh ginger for the dried, warm it together with the honey.
2. Wash and dry nectarines and bell pepper, cut nectarines from pit. With a potato peeler thinly peel the pepper ( this works good only with fresh plump peppers, but it makes for a much nicer texture of the dish). Cut peppers and nectarines in 1/8-1/4 inch dice. Wash and trim scallions, cut into 1/8 inch rings.
3. Warm honey in a small pot over medium low heat. Add nectarines, scallions and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add all the other ingredients, adjust taste and put in a serving bowl. Serve cold or slighly warm with chicken and rice.

Servings: 2

Curried Chicken Salad With Nectarines

3 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
2 cups cubed nectarines
½ cup diced celery
1/3; cup chopped green onion
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sliced almonds , toasted

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle mayonnaise mixture over chicken mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with almonds.

Servings: 4-6

Grilled Nectarines With Blue Cheese, Honey and Black Pepper

6 large nectarines , halved and pitted
canola oil
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
¼ cup honey
fresh coarse ground black pepper

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

1. Heat grill to high.
2. Brush the cut sides of nectarines with oil.
3. Grill cut side down until caramelized and brown, about 2 minutes.
4. Turn nectarines over and grill for 1 or 2 minutes more, until the flesh is almost soft.
5. Place the nectarines cut side up on a platter and divide the cheese among the cavities.
6. Drizzled with honey and grind fresh pepper over the top.
7. Serve immediately.
8. Yum!

Servings: 4-6

Nectarine, Snow Pea Stir-Fry

1 lb snow peas or 1 lb sugar snap pea , ends snipped and strings removed, left whole
2 nectarines , washed, stone removed and sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 3 mins
Total Time: 8 mins

1. Heat the oil in a heavy fry pan or wok.
2. When the oil in sizzling add the nectarines and peas, stir fry for apprx 2 minutes, serve hot.

Servings: 4-6

Fabulous Fruit Salad

1 red apple, cored and chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1 nectarine, pitted and sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) container nonfat lemon yogurt

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins

In a large bowl, combine red apple, Granny Smith apple, nectarine, celery, dried cranberries, and walnuts. Mix in yogurt. Chill until ready to serve.

Servings: 4

Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Nectarine Salsa

2 nectarines, pitted and diced
1 ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 (4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 33 mins

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil grate, and set 4 inches from the heat.
2. To make the salsa, place the nectarines, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and red pepper flakes in a bowl; toss to blend. Season to taste with salt. Cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Stir the cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Place the olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the pork chops with oil, and season both sides evenly with the cumin mixture.
4. Place pork loin chops on the preheated grill. Cook until lightly browned and juices run clear, about 4 minutes on each side. Place pork chops on serving plates, and top with a generous spoonful of salsa.

Servings: 4

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