Nectarine, Speck and Fresh Mozzarella Starter
My favorite summer fruit is the nectarine. I think it is way underrated. You get the sweetness of a peach (without the fuzzy skin), the acidity of a strawberry. The flesh is the most beautiful golden yellow, and the skin a gorgeous red. Be forewarned, there are about to be a lot of nectarine postings!
I brought an appetizer to a friends house last night, and I tried to make the most of the beautiful, just ripe nectarines that I had lying around. I love nectarines with basil, and mine has finally started to grow in the garden, so I had some lovely baby leaves. Then I added some beautiful, paper thin speck (similar to prosciutto, but cured ham, so it has a slightly smoky flavor).
Then, at my local grocer, (Uptown Metropolitan Market in Seattle) they actually pull their own fresh mozzerella and sell it fresh out of the boiling water! The cheese I bought had been packed with a lovely apricot colored pansy, and I snatched it right up.
So all of the ingredients are really simple and pure. I just finished the plate with some good olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. It isn’t really a recipe, more just a gathering of beautiful ingredients, but it was delicious, fresh and very summery!
Nectarine, Speck and Fresh Mozzarella Starter, serves 4
2 yellow nectarines, just ripe, thinly sliced
1/8 lb of thinly slice speck (or prosciutto)
½ a large ball of fresh mozzarella (the water packed kind is just fine!)
A handful of small basil leaves (or tear the large ones)
Freshly ground black pepper
On a large plate, arrange the nectarines in concentric circles (or you could line them up down a rectangular plate. Intersperse the nectarines with little piles of the thinly sliced ham, and hand torn chunks of the fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle everything with the basil leaves, and drizzle about 2 Tbs good olive oil over the whole plate. I finish with a few cracks of fresh black pepper.