Inspirational Words and Nectarine Tomato Basil Salad With A Little Kick

>> Monday, July 18, 2011


Nectarines; Grape Tomatoes; Tomato; Cherry Tomato; Basil; black peppercorn; spices; sugar; brown sugar; fruit; fresh; raw; organic; food; salad; Spicie Foodie; recipe; healthy; low fat; low-fat; summer; summer recipes
I'm sure many, if not all, of you know who Penny de los Santos is. She is an award winning photographer, senior contributing photographer at Saveur Magazine and contributor to National Geographic. Penny is a truly talented photographer with a very kind aura. She recently teamed up with Creative Live to stream a live 3 day workshop on food photography. Did you guys catch that live? Sadly I didn't hear about it until about 1 week later. Thankfully Creative Live has the whole 3 day course available for download on their website incase you missed it, like me. No I'm not being paid to say this.
Nectarines; Grape Tomatoes; Tomato; Cherry Tomato; Basil; black peppercorn; spices; sugar; brown sugar; fruit; fresh; raw; organic; food; salad; Spicie Foodie; recipe; healthy; low fat; low-fat; summer; summer recipes
I'm telling you guys about it because I was so moved by Penny's lessons. After watching the videos I was left in awe of her talent, inspirational and motivational words. She comes off as a genuinely good person happy to help share her knowledge. After watching the videos I went back to her website and read many of her posts as well as admired her photography. I just had to send her a message saying know how much what she said meant to me. I know I'm sounding like a stalker, but I promise I'm not. You know what? She wrote back a sweet little note. With all of her success and busy schedule, she was still kind enough to respond to her fan mail. That says alot in my book.
Nectarines; Grape Tomatoes; Tomato; Cherry Tomato; Basil; black peppercorn; spices; sugar; brown sugar; fruit; fresh; raw; organic; food; salad; Spicie Foodie; recipe; healthy; low fat; low-fat; summer; summer recipes
One of the many posts that stood out the most to me was a recipe for "Tomato, Peach and Basil Salad" Looking or should I say drooling over her photos and recipe I knew I had to make that salad immediately. So I did and here it is for you today. I do have to tell you that I changed it a little bit from her recipe.
This is what I did different:
- She used peaches and I used nectarines.
- Penny's salad cuts the peaches into chucks, I decided to slice the nectarines into thick wedges.
- Penny used garden tomatoes and I changed it to small grape tomatoes.
- Another step I added was to grilled the nectarines.
- Since raw garlic does not agree with me I decided to cook it a little in the oil from the nectarines. But you can use the raw garlic if you like.
- I also sprinkled a little cayenne over the salad. This added another depth of flavors and it tasted great!
Nectarine Tomato Basil Salad; Nectarines; Grape Tomatoes; Tomato; Cherry Tomato; Basil; fruit; fresh; raw; organic; food; salad; Spicie Foodie; recipe; healthy; low fat; low-fat; summer; summer recipes

Nectarine Tomato Basil Salad With A Little Kick
Adapted from Penny de los Santos's "Tomato, Peach and Basil Salad"
Makes 1 large serving or 2 small side servings:

2 ripe but slightly firm nectarine, sliced into thick wedges
10 grape tomatoes, cut in half
large bunch fresh basil, finely chopped

Balsamic Dressing:
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp water
large pinch ground cayenne pepper, optional

11/2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) *
2 whole garlic cloves*

* Hold off on adding these to the balsamic until step #2*

1. Thoroughly wash the fruits and basil. Heat the grill/griddle or frying pan over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the grill/griddle or frying pan. Place the nectarines with the flesh facing down on to the hot cooking surface. The point it to quickly sear the nectarines then flip onto the opposite side. Remove the nectarines and allow to cool on a plate, set aside. In the same grill/griddle or frying pan add the garlic cloves and fry for 2-3 minutes just until soft, or the garlic can also be left raw. Turn heat off and set aside.

2. In a screw top jar pour the oil used to cook the nectarines. Mince the garlic and add to the jar along with all of the balsamic ingredients. Shake well until all ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust if necessary.

3. In a large salad bowl gently toss the tomatoes, basil and nectarines. Pour the balsamic over the fruits again gently tossing. OR you can serve the balsamic on the side and serve as you like.
Nectarine Tomato Basil Salad; Nectarines; Grape Tomatoes; Tomato; Cherry Tomato; Basil; fruit; fresh; raw; organic; food; salad; Spicie Foodie; recipe; healthy; low fat; low-fat; summer; summer recipes

If you haven't already stopped by Penny's website do so, soon. Her poetic words, story telling, recipes and photography will warm your belly and soul. Have a beautiful day everyone and thank you for stopping by.

P.S. Who inspires you to be a better photographer or keep learning in the Kitchen?

*Update July 25* This post was featured on Women's Health Magazine! Check it out
Sugar and Spice; and Everything Nice; Women's Health Magazine; Health Magazine; Women's Salad; Healthy; low fat; recipes; Spice Foodie


Priya Sreeram July 18, 2011 at 7:33 AM  

thank you for sharing this post, lovely looking salad and glad to know about Penny's blog !

Nancy July 18, 2011 at 7:41 AM  

Hi Priya, My pleasure :)

Rivki Locker July 18, 2011 at 7:48 AM  

I never thought to combine tomatoes and peaches. This looks fantastic. What gorgeous photos. Bookmarking it to try soon.

Nancy July 18, 2011 at 7:50 AM  

@Rivki, Me neither but they go so great together. Let me know how you like it.

Chef Dennis Littley July 18, 2011 at 7:53 AM  

Thanks for the recommendation for Penny, she is amazing! I did not see the video but since you recommend it I have to watch it today! Thanks so much for preparing that incredibly beautiful and I'm sure delicious salad!

Nancy July 18, 2011 at 7:58 AM  

@Dennis, No problem! I think you'll really enjoy the videos. It was super delicious :)

Unknown July 18, 2011 at 8:02 AM  

This salad looks so so delicious. Thank you for sharing!

Ruby July 18, 2011 at 8:14 AM  

Looks gorgeous! Thanks for the link to the workshop, and in answer to your final question - YOU do! :-)

Nancy July 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM  

@icancookthat, Thanks and my pleasure:)

@Ruby, Wow you totally made my day- no make that week :) I think you'll enjoy the workshop videos. Thank you so much!

Nandita SS July 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM  

Thanks for introducing me to Penny Nancy. I just loved the recipe and the Photographs. The salad looks very Rustic and yummy :)

Nancy July 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM  

@Paaka, No problem :) Yes, rustic is a great way of describing it.

Patty Price July 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM  

Thanks for passing on the lovely recipe and info on the photography workshop. I will go check it out! I love your photos of this simple flavorful salad and I've been meaning to pick up some nectarines;-)

Lindselicious July 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM  

Oh I just made a super similar salad this weekend!! Great minds think a like. ;) I love your take on this, I'll need to try this next.

Lazaro Cooks July 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM  

Summer in a bowl. Love photographed salad.

I'm really not into photography, I certainly am not a food blogger that worries too much about that end. I am all about the food. Pushing the boundaries of my cuisine and playing with my food. That's why I cook.


Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan July 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM  

This looks phenomenal! The nectarines at the fruit stand near my apartment are so lovely right now and you can smell them from several feet away. I'll have to go pick some up now that I know exactly what to do with them!

Sandra July 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM  

Nancy, this dish looks full of flavor..beautiful photography and great post! What a honor that she wrote you exiting!
Have a wonderful Monday!!!

Tiffany July 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM  

Haha... "No, I am not being paid to say this..." I love it Nancy! Thanks for sharing the info... and this beautiful salad!

Hester Casey - Alchemy in the Kitchen July 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM  

Nancy, thanks for the photography info. Beautiful salad, and beautifully shot!

The Harried Cook July 18, 2011 at 3:14 PM  

Beautiful salad! I love the photographs... Your pictures are incredible! :) I must go visit Penny's site... I've got a lot to learn :) Thanks for sharing :)

Heidi @ Food Doodles July 18, 2011 at 3:37 PM  

I actually did catch Penny that weekend, but I couldn't sit and watch all of it but I was so happy to get what I could. What an inspiring workshop that was. I'm always inspired by books and magazines and especially blogs. Your salad looks delicious, and I love your pictures as usual :)

Michelle Chin July 18, 2011 at 5:22 PM  

This sounds like something i would make!!

Anonymous,  July 18, 2011 at 9:10 PM  

Delicious and amazing photos!

Unknown July 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM  

Your fruity, spicy tomato salad is awesome, Nancy! It's the kind of thing I would have on a hot day, so refreshing and delicious. I happen to LOVE Penny de Los Santos! She's my inspiration for wanting to be a better photographer, better cook... heck, a better person. More than the food, she actually delves into the culture and the people behind the food. You 'feel' that about her photographs and videos and that's what make them so special.

Kelly July 19, 2011 at 9:51 PM  

This is just crazy beautiful and yet simple and achievable. Love the summer fresh ingredients and the combination of nectarine and tomato. The balsamic vinaigrette sounds delicious.

PolaM July 19, 2011 at 10:25 PM  

Wow that salad is awsome! Never thought of putting tomato and nectarine together, but now that I see it it sounds great!

Jennifer (Delicieux) July 20, 2011 at 1:21 AM  

What a beautiful photo! I absolutely love the photo of your salad, it's so beautiful.

Sarah-Jane - July 20, 2011 at 10:12 AM  

I'm at work at the minute. Sounds like a really interesting course. I can't take good photos for love nor money.

Lovely looking summer salad.

I'll check that link out later !

sweetlife July 20, 2011 at 12:28 PM  

I love penny and I also missed her class, (upset) Thanks for featuring this colorful salad, I adore nectarines! Loved your queso on HC!!

Celia July 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM  

Love it! I just made a nectarine-tomato chutney, so I know firsthand that the combo is totally awesome. I'll have to try it in salad now - if only I had leftover fruit...

FamilySpice July 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM  

I wanted to watch Penny's workshop, but I just couldn't commit to the time. I will see about watching it one afternoon while the kids are away. This is a beautiful salad. Perfect for my garden tomatoes.

Roxana GreenGirl July 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM  

Hi Nancy,
I love Penny and probably like most of us, missed her classes. Thanks for the link, going to check it out.
Now, back to the salad, I honestly believe yours looks much better than hers, especially the 4th photo.

Rita July 22, 2011 at 3:44 PM  

I had read about Penny's lessons and I was thinking about taking her workshop. Your pics look stunning!!

Radhika July 22, 2011 at 4:11 PM  

You know what? when I see your pictures, I can just make them out unmistakably, just like I did on tasteologie now! That bowl of nectarine tomato salad is so colorful with perfect lighting.

About Penny's workshop on creativelive, I got lucky to know about it on twitter and stayed glued for the whole 3 days. She is a total inspiration, no doubts about it. Her workshop was awesome is the least I can say. Good you could download the video. I am so glad to read about it on your post here..

Magic of Spice July 22, 2011 at 10:41 PM  

This is just gorgeous all around! Thank you for the introduction to Penny's site (I took a peak) and will be back. I really love your version though...fresh and beautiful with just a hint of heat ;)

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