In season late summer: Nectarines
Nectarines are a kind of peach without the fuzz. Nectarines can have white or yellow flesh, and are more prone to damage than peaches.
Choose unblemished fruit which are firm with just a little give.
Store at room temperature or keep ripe nectarines in a plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of days. To freeze nectarines, peel, slice then store in a container or plastic bag.
Nectarines contain many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fibre. Nectarines are an excellent source of antioxidant carotenoids such as beta carotene.
- Nectarines are best eaten at room temperature. Raw fruit complements cereal, fruit salads and works well in a fruit medley for a crumble – or for something different, try the fruit in a savoury salad, eg. Nectarine and prune couscous.
- Glaze meat or fish with a spicy nectarine marinade. Purée 2 cups peeled, chopped yellow nectarines with 1/4 cup water. Whisk in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, black pepper and red chilli flakes. Liberally brush meat with marinade before cooking or grilling.
- For a simple dessert, lightly brush halved, pitted nectarines with honey and barbecue for 5 minutes until softened. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar and serve immediately with a scoop of reduced-fat vanilla ice-cream.
- Make a summer crumble for dessert. Combine 2 cups peeled, sliced nectarines with 2 cups chopped berries, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon each of vanilla extract and cinnamon. Top with your usual crumble and bake.
- Give bruschetta a summery twist. Mix one large bunch shredded fresh basil with 2 chopped nectarines (one white and one yellow). Spread goat’s cheese or reduced-fat ricotta cheese on 12 toasted sourdough slices and top with basil and nectarine mixture, thin slices of prosciutto and a drizzle of olive oil.
Did you know? The word nectarine means ‘sweet as nectar’.