Home Food DigiBites: A Salad Built For Summer – With A Bonus From Sorrento!

DigiBites: A Salad Built For Summer – With A Bonus From Sorrento!

Photo: The Epicurean Exchange

With temperatures rising and family life set to move poolside or to the backyard, this recipe features an unusual combination of the best of Northern California summer produce – great flavors, textures, nutrient-rich and beautiful! Great presentation for summer entertaining at the park or around the pool!

Please make sure to include some great local options when shopping. My tip for sourcing is below!

Heirloom Tomato, White Nectarine and Mozzarella Salad
with Blueberries and Sweet Basil

This salad is perfect for the summer months when the heirloom tomatoes and stone fruits are plentiful. Choose a variety for color, texture and flavor. The clean flavor and silky texture of the mozzarella is a perfect complement to the sweetness of the nectarines and blueberries or blackberries and balanced with the mild acidity of the Amphora Peach White Balsamic vinegar. You can feel free to add other fruits and berries, figs and olives.  Serve this on individual plates or family-style on a large platter!

3 assorted large heirloom tomatoes (Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Marvel Stripe), cut into

1-inch chunks

3 each small heirloom tomatoes varieties (Green Zebra, Black Prince, Cherry/Pear), cut into

1-inch chunks or halved depending on size

8 ounces Ciliegine mozzarella cheese, (cherry–sized), halved, rinsed and dried.

2 firm, but ripe white nectarines (sweeter the better), pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks

6 ounces blueberries or blackberries

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons Amphora extra-virgin olive oil*

2 tablespoons Amphora Peach White Balsamic* vinegar

6 – 8 small fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

• Lay out 4 to 6 serving plates, and place a variety of the cut tomatoes in the center of each plate.  Add a few pieces of the fresh basil.  Lightly season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Follow with the nectarines, cheese, more tomatoes, basil and lightly season until the desired serving size is reached.  Top with the blueberries.

• In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar.  Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of the mixture over each plate.  Season with an additional sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

• Garnish with pieces of torn basil leaves and a basil top.  Finish with a final pinch of French grey salt and ground pepper, to taste.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4 – 6

©  2012, Epicurean Exchange.  All rights reserved

*Chef Charlie’s Tip Of The Day: Try to get Amphora products, particularly the Peach – White Balsamic vinegar. Shop is located in Lafayette, behind the Cooperage on Fiesta Lane.  When shopping, mention Chef Charlie and/or Epicurean Exchange to receive a friends and family discount.


Limoncello originates from Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast areas of Italy. Recently, it has been elevated to become the National Drink of Italy, and is produced throughout the country. Epicurean Exchange has lead several tours of Italy to Tuscany (Central), Piemonte (North), and Puglia and Sicily (South). The food and culture of each region is unique and diverse; based on the history, geography and climate of each. One recipe is ubiquitous, and although varying slightly, recipe-to-recipe, the final product is the same: an intensely-flavored lemon liqueur and digestive that is served very chilled (stored in the freezer) and sipped at the end of a meal, but certainly can be enjoyed anytime! The recipe is simple: alcohol, lemons, water, sugar and time…


3 – 750ml bottles Everclear 75% volume Grain Alcohol (or vodka) – see note below

18 large, organic Eureka lemons, washed and peeled, making sure you only peel the skins and no bitter pith; the peel should be yellow on both sides.  (Juice the peeled lemons, and reserve for other purposes)

9 cups water

3 cups granulated sugar



3 – 32-ounce (1 liter) Ball wide mouth glass canning jars for maceration

3 – 34-ounce clear glass bottles with swing tops for storage and service

Makes enough to fill 3 – 34-ounce glass bottles


• Fill the canning jars with the Everclear Grain Alcohol.  Add the peels of 6 lemons to each jar.  Cover with the lids and gently shake each for a minute or so.

• Place the jars in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks; gently shaking them every couple of days.

• After 3 weeks, make the simple syrup: combine the water and sugar in a stock pot and place over medium heat.  As the mixture heats, stir gently and constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

• Strain the alcohol from the lemon peels, using a fine mesh strainer, into the sugar mixture. Keeping the peels in the jar, add a bit of water and shake the peels and again pour off excess. Add the peels to the strainer and press the peels to release as much liquid as possible.  Stir the mixture for several minutes to ensure it is well-combined.

• Transfer the finished product to the glass bottles using a funnel. Store bottles in the same cool, dark place for another 2 weeks to allow the flavors to meld and concentrate.

• To serve: chill the bottles in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours before serving. Serve straight up, in small aperitif glasses.  Enjoy!

Note: This recipe makes a substantial amount, and assumes you will want to make, store and share the final product. You can reduce the amount by simply dividing this recipe into thirds, or increase to create the desired amount.

© 2018, Epicurean Exchange. Inspired by the research of countless variations


    • Doesn’t it? One of the perils of working at NEWS24/680 is that we’re subjected to some really good recipes on a regular basis. They always told us to “stay hungry” in j-school, just not like this!

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