Tomato and Nectarine Salad with a Korean Dressing – Recipe

Nectarine and Tomato Salad with Korean Dressing
Tomato and Nectarine Salad with a Korean Dressing

Here’s a simple, delicious and surprising salad. Oh, one thing – it is only worth doing if you have spectacular heirloom tomatoes and nectarines. It will be completely tasteless and sad if you make it with hard pink tomatoes and underripe, sour nectarines. You’l be very on trend if you make it; I’ve seen variations of stone fruit & tomato salads on a bunch of great restaurant menus lately.

Quick aside: if you live in Seattle or are planning a visit, I’m giving away three copies of my Seattle Foodie Guide App. Jump on over to Facebook to enter!

Tomato season really has two halves. The first half is “don’t waste my time”, and the second half “good lord that is delicious”. I like to celebrate the latter by eating as many great tomatoes as humanly possible, almost all without any cooking at all. Pairing them with fruit is an interesting way to play on the fact that tomatoes are, of course, a fruit and not a vegetable. It tends to emphasize the sweetness and complex flavors and make you not take them for granted.

Nectarine and Tomato Salad Homey with Korean Dressing Family Style

The idea for this dressing was based on wanting to find a simple first course to serve before these icy cold Korean noodles (jjolmyeon). It uses fine gochugaru, a Korean chili powder. The one I have is fruity/sour and not particularly spicy. Taste yours first and dial it back if it is too hot. If you don’t have gochugaru, you could try ancho chili powder as a substitute, or just use a pinch of cayenne and not worry about it. But I would recommend picking up gochugaru if you can, I’ve fallen in love with it and will be showing you other ways to use it soon.

Oh, and don’t feel like you have to plate this salad all fancy like in the top photo. Your guests will enjoy it just as much if you do it family style.

Tomato and Nectarine Salad with a Korean Dressing
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free
Serves 4

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted (Asian) sesame oil – not the pale colored raw stuff
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon fine ground gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (in a pinch, rice vinegar)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, sesame oil, salt and gochugaru (start with the smaller amount). Whisking continuously, drizzle in the sherry vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning.
For the salad
  • 2 – 3 large, perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes, at room temperature – kind of nice if they are different varieties
  • 3 perfectly ripe, sweet nectarines, at room temperature (or peaches) – preferably a freestone variety
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (could skip these for the family-style plate)
  • Baby arugula (just a few leaves if plating fancy; a couple cups worth if doing family style)
  • A few paper thin slices of sweet onion (such as Walla Walla) (cut on a mandoline if possible)
  • Flaky sea salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt), preferably)
  1. Core the tomatoes and cut them into wedges.
  2. Cut the nectarines into segments. If they are clingstones, you are going to lose some of the flesh, but you can gnaw on the pit for a cook’s treat.
  3. Plate the salad as you see in either of the two photographs. Give the dressing a whisk and drizzle it over the top, being careful not to overdress. Finish with a few scattered flakes of sea salt and serve.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, August 27th, 2012 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Salads, Sauces and Condiments, Vegan or Modifiable.

15 Responses to “Tomato and Nectarine Salad with a Korean Dressing – Recipe”

  1. August 27, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Tomatoes are so glorious right now! I gave up on growing them in my own garden when June in Seattle was so atrocious. But I’ve been visiting a couple of farmstands in Snohomish to get my fill. I’ve yet to try heirloom tomatoes with stone fruit, but this looks fabulous. Must give it a try.

  2. August 27, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    Oh my goodness, this salad looks absolutely delicious! What a great idea. I must try this soon. Thanks for sharing this tomato and nectarine salad – I love the Korean dressing that goes with it! Happy Mon., Michael!

  3. August 27, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    This looks gorgeous; wouldn’t have put nectarines and tomatoes together but it sounds great!

  4. August 27, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Oh my–I definitely need to try one of these salads! Good thing the farmer’s market is still full of amazing tomatoes and stone fruit. :)

  5. August 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    You make me wish I liked tomatoes, such a polarizing fruit – you either love it or hate it, and there’s really nothing in between.

  6. August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Gorgeous shots. This salad looks incredible! I’m definitely gong to have to snatch up your book.

  7. August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    I could live on this salad, day in and day out! Really, tomatoes are my favorite food!
    Or yes, I am definitely moving back to Seattle, in 9 months now! :)
    That is one beautiful photo, great lightning, how did you do it?

    • August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      Hey Marina – I use studio lights (from Alien Bees). I believe this photo was setup with a big softbox behind the salad and a simple reflector filling from the front right, and maybe a bounce card in the front left.

      • August 29, 2012 at 6:07 am #

        Thank you, Michael. Forgot to ask you: what camera do you use? In your book you mentioned that you “graduated from point-and-shoot to DSLR”, but no specifics.
        Yes, I’ve read your book, and cooked from it too. :) I need to tell you I was impressed by the Introduction so much that I read it twice. Your writing style is elegant to details, sophisticated and yet pleasant. Your books moves me away from my comfort zone to a whole new world of adventure and excitement in my kitchen. And I am grateful for that! :)

  8. August 29, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Hey Marina – thanks! I currently use a Nikon D300, but that is dated and if I was getting a new DSLR it would be a D7000: link to amzn.to . Drool.

  9. August 31, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Tried this for lunch today and it was AWESOME. I used aleppo pepper instead of Korean chili powder. Thank you!

  10. August 31, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    Oh, and I also added a minced scallion, which I thought worked well too.

    • August 31, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      Rivki, I think both of your variations sound inspired!

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