A number of months ago, it may even be almost a year now, Bon Appetit started showing up at our house, and I didn’t know why. I hadn’t ordered a subscription, and it didn’t come with anything saying that it was a gift from someone.
I thought perhaps it was a promotional copy and that I would shortly receive one of those cards that tell you that if you’d like to continue to receive the magazine, you’d have to pay for the subscription. But I didn’t. I never paid for anything, and it just kept showing up. It felt extremely awesome.
I vaguely wondered now and again who it was coming from. Maybe someone had gotten one of those 2 for 1 offers where you can renew your subscription and also give one to someone else and they’d sent it to me. I didn’t know. And I didn’t find myself compelled to think very hard about it.
I’m a person who overthinks a lot of things, but it turns out that a free subscription to Bon Appetit is not one of them. Instead of thinking, I put it to good use, dog-earing pages and taking inspiration from recipes and images.
Then, two days ago Joel’s mom wrote to ask me how I liked my subscription to Bon Appetit and if I wanted it to continue. Aha! The answer to the question that I had stopped asking! That’s where it had come from. And the answer to her question was, of course, obvious. Yes please I wanted it to continue!
Admittedly Bon Appetit has its issues, and has come under fire for focusing too much on celebrities as opposed to cuisine, etc. But, whatever. A) I’m not going to look a gift magazine in the mouth and B) I just skip over the celebrity profiles and head straight for the recipes. And sometimes those recipes are darn good.
Case in point this salad, which we loved. It’s actually rare that I cook a recipe directly from a magazine. I usually take recipes as a starting point and then tweak them and adjust them according to my mood and what I have around or what pops into my head as a potential modification. But, in the latest edition of Bon Appetit I saw “Pickled Nectarines with Burrata” and I wanted to make it instantly (burrata has that effect on me). And I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to change about it.
The mild creaminess of burrata (or a good fresh mozzarella, but burrata is entirely worth the splurge if you can find it) is gorgeous with sweet, ripe fruits like peaches, nectarines, berries, plums… I was certain, once I saw the recipe title, that the little kick of acid from quick pickling the nectarines plus the bite of pickled red onions could only make the pairing even better. If I had been developing the recipe myself, I would have wanted these flavors – sweet, mild, lightly acidic – paired with some contrasting bitter or peppery greens and cool mint. And what else should the recipe call for but lightly bitter greens and an impressive quantity of fresh mint?!
It’s so easy and so tasty. The only change I made was to serve the recipe to just the two of us, instead of dividing it into four portions. This way it made for a full dinner salad. And we got more! I was sold. I hope you are too.
- 2 ripe but not overly soft nectarines, thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar (red wine or sherry vinegar should also work)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups mixed lightly bitter greens (like arugula, mizuna, frisee)
- 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 8 oz. burrata (or fresh mozarella) torn into bite-sized pieces
- Combine the nectarines and the red onion in a bowl and toss them gently with the vinegar and sugar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside for about 10 or 15 minutes.
- Carefully toss the nectarines, onion, and pickling liquid with the greens, mint, and olive oil.
- Divide the salad and the burrata pieces between 2 or 4 plates, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more oil if desired, then serve.