Recipes

grilled nectarines with gorgonzola and hazelnuts

Listen, I don’t make the rules. These things aren’t rational. But at some point over our vacation in Scotland — a time when we mostly consumed fish and chips, more chips, steak pie, also with chips, a detail that I’m sure is unrelated — I began intensely craving the combination of peaches and blue cheese even though I can’t think of a time when they’ve crossed paths in my kitchen. Once we got home, I beelined for Salad Freak by Jess Damuck [Amazon, Bookshop, More Indies], a cookbook that came out this spring, because I had a hunch she’d put the idea in my head and sure enough, she had a combination of stone fruit and blue cheese waiting to fulfill my wayward vacation craving.


If you are thinking you don’t need a cookbook for salads, as I might have in the past, I’m here to tell you how wrong we are. We do, if not for exact measurements then for inspiration. For more creative ways to throw together what’s left in your fridge so nothing goes to waste. And to figure out what to eat when you’re in the third heat wave [fourth? fifth? heat waves are just a continuum now, aren’t they?] of the summer and everything you thought you’d want to cook in August no longer makes sense because it’s too hot to cook. Damuck’s book has us covered. There’s a breakfast salad with yogurt, cucumbers, eggs, and toasted seeds. There are soba salads and shredded kale salads and tortellini salads dressings with miso-mayo and horseradish goat cheese and a BBQ chicken cobb beloved by Snoop Dogg and every single thing is just a little bit unexpected and delivering the freshness I need right now.

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As for the nectarines: I am trying to locate this salad on the meal continuum but I want it everywhere. It’s a dessert salad. Or maybe part of a cheese course. Or maybe a brunch salad. Or maybe just something to have with a very cold glass of white wine in the late afternoon and pretend we’re on vacation in the Riviera. The grilled nectarines take on a pie-like fragrance, even before you put anything on top, but the crumbled blue cheese, honey, mint leaves, toasted hazelnuts, and flaky sea salt coordinate blissfully into something so incredible together, I nearly ate the plate. I hope you put it immediately on your agenda.

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Previously

6 months ago: Lemon Sorbet and Sweetheart Sables
1 year ago: Baked Farro with Summer Vegetables
2 years ago: Dulce de Leche Chocoflan and Kachumber Cooler
3 years ago: Ultimate Zucchini Bread
4 years ago: Marbled Raspberry Pound Cake
5 years ago: German Chocolate Cake + A Wedding Cake
6 years ago: Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding
7 years ago: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
8 years ago: Three-Ingredient Summertime Salsa and Blueberry Crumb Cake
9 years ago: Banana Nutella and Salted Pistachio Popsicles
10 years ago: Zucchini Bread Pancakes and Zucchini, Tomato and Rice Gratin
11 years ago: Corn Buttermilk and Chive Popovers
12 years ago: Nectarine Brown Butter Buckle and Sweet and Smoky Oven Spare Ribs
13 years ago: Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie, Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons and Sour Cherry Slab Pie
14 years ago: Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte and Garlic Mustard Glazed Skewers
15 years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

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Grilled Nectarines with Gorgonzola and Hazelnuts

This recipe is a vibe, not a prescription. Feel free to use peaches, plums, or another firm-ripe stone fruit here. I used Danish blue cheese instead of gorgonzola, because it’s what I had. Use feta, perhaps, if you don’t like goat cheese, or you could even grill some halloumi alongside the nectarines.

  • Olive oil
  • 4 ripe but not too ripe freestone nectarines or peaches
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) crumbled gorgonzola or another blue cheese
  • Flaky salt

Prepare the fruit: Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Cut nectarines in half and remove the pits. Drizzle with a bit of oil and grill until charred and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. [I actually didn’t flip mine, but it took more like 5 minutes to get them charred on my dinky grill.]

Assemble and serve: Transfer the nectarines to a serving platter, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with the crumbled gorgonzola and mint leaves. Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts and sprinkle them over the platter, along with a bit of flaky salt. Eat with a fork and knife.

Serve with: Very cold wine or a spritzy lemonade, maybe some prosciutto and melon, and if you want to tie it into a whole summer meal, I’d make these clams and serve with grilled bread.

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35 comments on grilled nectarines with gorgonzola and hazelnuts

  1. Leah

    Speaking of stone fruit, have you ever had pickled peaches? They are lovely on a green salad, with the pickling liquid as part of the vinaigrette. I use the FoodInJars.com recipe, and can at least a few pints every summer.

  2. Beverly

    The recipe says you could use halloumi. I am curious how this would work? Usuallly I cut the halloumi into 1 inch cubes but that seems too big. Can you/would you cut the halloumi into tiny pieces like the feta or goat cheese?

    1. Simon Prutton

      Googled for The Republic of Salad, but nothing came up…what’s the URL for the blog you’re referring to? Can you post it here?

  3. LaLa

    So… thoughts on turning this into a pizza? Maybe slice the stone fruit and bind it all with a bit of a neutral melting cheese in addition to the blue? Hmm…
    Thank you for the incredible inspiration as always, Deb. You’re a treasure.

    1. AW

      I did a pizza like this a while back with arugula, grilled nectarines, honey, pecans, and some ricotta (goat cheese would work if you like it). Drizzled it all with a balsamic reduction and it was pretty amazing!

  4. Nat

    Cookbook question: do you include weight measurements on your books as well as the blog? Thanks for the cheese suggestions here, blue isn’t my jam but goat’s or feta would be delicious. Your holiday snaps mean Scotland is now on my must-visit list!

    1. deb

      You could use a grill-like pan on a stove, a Foreman, or simply roast them for a bit. We’re not fully cooking them through, mostly browning the edges.

  5. Colleen

    My sister made something like this recently with lettuce as a base and grilled a flank steak marinated in the same balsamic vinegar as the dressing, with no nuts, in case you are feeling the meaty vibe. As Deb noted, this is a starting point— and one can never go wrong with something that starts will grilled peaches.

  6. Joycelyn

    Love your vacation photos it’s too bad you only had such a short stay but there’s always next time!
    About the salad cookbook, I checked it out as I was eager to purchase considering it was recommended by you, but am very glad I read the comments stating Ms. Damuck’s Salad book is missing nutritional information for her recipes which is ever so important if you have a family member with health issues such as Bowl Diseases and Diabetes. Also, Some of the recipes in Jess Damuck’s salad book are very high in carbs and sugars albeit mostly natural sugars that could not be served to a diabetic, especially a child with Type 1 diabetes in a normal serving size without causing a spike in blood sugar since that salad serving will most likely be followed by other side dishes. I chose to not purchase the book even though I love discovering other quirky salad ideas since I have two diabetics ( one young Type 1, one senior Type 2) in my family so will stick to my old 1995 copy of the Multicultural cooking ( light and easy ) cookbook by Kay Spicer published in co-operation with the Canadian Diabetes Association, and of where a good many of our family salad and many other tasty Diabetic friendly recipes have been of great inspiration to this old gal.

  7. “a vibe, not a prescription” – YES YES YES. More of these, please! At this stage in my cooking game, I read recipes for ideas, not to follow exactly.
    I am so pleased my library has Salad Freak so I put it on hold and if I love it like you described you do, I will most definitely buy it.

  8. Naomi

    I took this inspiration and plopped it all on top of a spinach salad with balsamic & olive oil dressing. Instant dinner. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Anonymous since I can’t own up to the question

    I am completely ridiculous, but what’s the best way to remove the pit? I usually cut the fruit in half and use the knife to try and wedge the two sides apart but I often end up with mangled fruit. Once I separate the sides, I further mangle the side where the pit remains. Is there a better way?

    1. Nancy

      Some varieties of stone fruit are called clingstone. Getting the pit out of those is hard. I will sometimes just take a knife and cut down on both sides of the pit (and the fruit stuck to the pit is my cook’s treat). Freestone fruit is the kind where you can cut around the pit and pull the fruit off with a twist. Bottom line…mangled fruit is not your fault.

      1. taash

        I used the Tiktok needle-nose pliers hack, and it is CRAZY easy, removes the stones just like an olive pitter. Open pliers to the approximate width of nectarine or peach stone, & holding the fruit gently in your hand, insert pliers through the “shoulders” of the fruit, grab the stone firmly, twist & pull. Works like a dream on cling- as well as free-stone peaches & nectarines!

  10. Di

    Oh heck yes!! Nectarines aren’t in season here yet, but I will be making this with peaches after I hit the farmer’s market. Can’t wait!

  11. Patty

    I borrowed that cookbook from our local library (something I always do before buying one) and I wasn’t impressed! The photos were certainly lovely, but nothing jumped off the page to me, and I adore salads. None of the salads in that book held a candle to many of your salads – your barley, corn and haricot vert salad is ceremoniously served each spring – that’s just one example. Really, Deb! I paged through that book and took it back. I was bummed.

    1. Teresa

      Patty, Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree with you about this book. I purchased it and am very disappointed. I loaned it to my salad lover friend, and her reaction was the same.

  12. Liz Crawford

    Great combination of flavours. My peaches weren’t done in 5 minutes. I think our bbq is on its way out. The Gorgonzola didn’t crumble either. It was creamy (and yummy!). Next time I might use a harder blue cheese like Danish blue, Stilton or maybe Roquefort? It might be good with a very sharp, crystalline cheddar.

  13. Beth Cowan-Erskine

    I can’t believe you came to Scotland and didn’t call me! I mean, I realize we don’t actually know one another but I cook your food so often, I don’t know how that can be possible. Hope you had a great time. I love Scotland irrationally. Looking forward to getting your new cookbook next month when my friends arrive for a whisky distillery tour.

  14. Laura G

    I made this for my book club gathering and it was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, and the flavor combinations were complex yet refreshing.

    Perfect late summer salad

  15. taash

    Made these this evening — had to skip the mint, as I didn’t have any. They were delicious! I can see adding a pinch of red pepper flakes, or even a little spoonful of chili crisp.

  16. Jennifer

    I had been gifted some hazelnuts and some of those blue cheese crumbles, and had oven roasted some peaches and plums in olice and salt to use them up before they turned to mush. I usually eat them on yogurt for breakfast.
    I put this together for a Netflix snack after the kids were in bed and it was so good I had more for breakfast. I love assembly cooking.

  17. Wow, this recipe for Grilled Nectarines with Gorgonzola and Hazelnuts looks absolutely delicious! I love the combination of sweet nectarines with the creamy gorgonzola and the crunchy hazelnuts. I can’t wait to try this recipe out on my own grill. Thanks for sharing! Check out my blog Tasty Recipes for more delicious and easy-to-follow recipes