I have many fond childhood memories of summer holidays spent in Italy visiting my Aunt and Uncle. Many hours would be spent searching for the tortoises in my uncle’s vegetable patch between the most delicious al fresco lunches and suppers. I think it was during these visits that I first encountered the delights of Italian cured meats and of course Gorgonzola. Every day platters cheese, freshly sliced salami, Parma ham and Coppa would be piled on a long trestle table along with bowls filled with slices of melon, tomato salads, bread and other delicious bits and bobs and we would eat to our heart’s content.
This salad recipe is a nod to those summer days in Italy. For those of you that are less familiar with Coppa it is a type of salami made using the part of the loin of pork that is taken near the neck which is cured and marinated in red wine a garlic. It is traditionally served raw, cut into thin slices though it can also be used as bacon in recipes. You can find Coppa in most Italian delicatessens, however, if you aren’t able to find it then I would substitute with Serrano Ham.
This recipe is a lovely balance of flavours and textures which for me evokes the tastes of summer and is definitely one to try. The recipe makes enough for 1 person, so multiply the ingredients as required. Enjoy!
Griddled nectarine, Coppa and Gorgonzola salad
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- 1 ripe nectarine
- 4 slices Coppa ham
- 25-30g Gorgonzola (cut into bit sized pieces)
- 1 handful watercress
- 1 tbsp pine nuts toasted
- 2 slices of ciabatta
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar (for dressing)
- First toast the pine nuts in a frying pan on a high heat until golden brown. Make sure that you keep moving them so that they are toasted all over – once toasted remove from pan and set to one side.
- Place a griddle pan on a high heat and bring up to temperature.
- Prepare your nectarine by removing the stone and cutting into 6 equal sized wedges and brush with olive oil.
- Prepare the ciabatta by brushing each side with olive oil.
- Place the watercress on the base of a plate and arrange the Coppa on top.
- Place the peaches flesh side down on the griddle pan and cook for 30-45 seconds on each side so that they have charred lines from the pan. Then add to the salad with the Gorgonzola, scatter over the pine nuts and drizzle over a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Finally, toast the ciabatta on the griddle pan for 30-45 seconds on each side, add to the salad and serve.