Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nectarine, Arugula, Haricot Vert & Hazelnut Salad

Summer is officially here with temperatures soaring up the thermometer. I took the Adorable Monster to the dog park, but he refused to leave the shade, hopping from spot to spot, avoiding the sun at all costs. My kitchen is like the dog park - no, it's not dirty with lots of dry humping - it's hot! I don't have central air conditioning in my house, so using the oven is out of the question, and even the range starts to look less appealing. So, in an effort to seek shelter from the heat, I resolved to start making more salads for dinner!

Inspired by a recent trip to Palate with The Chicago Foodie, one of my favorite LA restaurants, I put together this fantastic summer salad for dinner. Beautiful organic nectarines have been flooding farmer's markets and grocery stores! Paired with crisp haricot verts, spicy arugula and rich hazelnuts, and this salad really starts to take on an aristocratic air. For a protein boost, I added a little seared albacore on the side. The result was a light, delicious dinner that satisfied every taste bud! And, did I mention how easy it was to make? Give it a try, divas!

Domestic Diva's Nectarine, Arugula, Haricot Vert & Hazelnut Salad
(inspired by Palate)

2 nectarines, sliced
4 cups rocket arugula
1 1/2 cups haricot verts (green beans), blanched
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp good olive oil
salt and pepper


fresh albacore
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
salt and pepper


To make the salad, place the nectarines, arugula, haricot verts & hazelnuts in a big bowl. Top with the lemon juice and olive oil. Toss everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the albacore, heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat until almost smoking. Meanwhile, season the fish on each side with salt and pepper and top with fresh thyme. Add the albacore to the pan and sear on each side for a minute or two, leaving it raw in the middle. Remove from heat, allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting it into slices. Serve along side the salad.

Wine Tasting Notes: 2005 Tablas Creek Panopolie

The top bottling from Tablas Creek, one of our favorite Paso Robles wineries! The Panopolie is a limited production of only 300 cases. This year, the blend was 70% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, and 5% Syrah. This wine is a unique wine because of its Mourvedre dominated composition, and it's easily the best of its kind in the New World. This was a stunning wine! A beautiful, dark, inky color, it took a minute to warm up, but once it got going, it never stopped, boasting an incredible, almost minute long finish. Great, subtle flavors of blackberry and remarkably balanced. A deftly made wine that drank well the whole night, down to the last drop. The 2005 has the ability to go the distance, easily lasting another 15 years, but it's also drinking great right now. Robert Parker rated the 2005 Panopolie 95 points.

Businesses Mentioned in this Post:

933 S Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91204

(818) 662-9463

Located right smack in the middle of Glendale's automall, Palate is one of my favorite wine bars and restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

Tablas Creek
9339 Adelaida Rd.

Paso Robles, CA 93446

(805) 237-1231

Tablas Creek, the American partnership between the Perrin (of Chateau Beaucastel) & Haas families, specializes in Rhone varietals and is both biodynamic and solar powered. I highly recommend their wine club. Click here for their website!

Source for Ingredients:

tuna, organic haricot verts, organic arugula, organic nectarines & hazelnuts from Whole Foods

Tablas Creek 2005 Panopolie from Kuzak's Cellar by way of the Tablas Creek Wine Club

Music on Tap:

Ryan Adams - Jacksonville City Nights
Pearl Jam - No Code
Iron and Wine - Around The Well
Dave Grisman & Jerry Garcia - Unknown Bootleg

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