Summer Nectarine and Herb Salad
Iain Bagwell
Yields50 ServingsCook Time4 hrs 30 mins
AuthorBrad Cecchi

This tangy, exuberant salad comes together quickly, considering the size of the recipe (and it can easily be halved or even quartered, in direct proportion). And it’s even quicker if you do it with friends, so the recipe is written with that in mind.

Created by Brad Cecchi, chef and owner of Canon, a seasonally driven restaurant in Sacramento, the salad brings in flavors from all over the globe and blends them with top-quality local produce. “It’s great for a block party, because it doesn’t need to be hot or ice-cold and won’t wilt,” he says. “It’s not your typical block-party fare—it’ll make you look cool. And it’s beautiful.” If you’re looking for something to serve with it, he suggests grilled or smoked whole chickens, baby back ribs, or beef tri-tips.

Wine pairing: A toasty, zesty sparkling wine, such as Caraccioli Cellars Brut Cuvee, Santa Lucia Highlands, $52

Equipment: 6 large platters

How to Make It

1

The day before, get together with a friend. One of you makes the dressing: Purée black garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and 31/2 tbsp. salt in a blender. Turn mixture into a bowl and stir in tarragon, parsley, and chives, adding more salt to taste if you like. Chill.

2

The other person makes the tamarind giardiniera: Put shallots and chiles in a large heat-proof bowl. In a 4- to 6-qt. saucepan, bring sugar, vinegar, chile flakes, salt, tamarind concentrate, and 2 cups water to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Pour boiling liquid over shallots and chiles. Let cool.

3

Working together, prep the vegetables for the salad. Store radishes in 1 resealable bag and cabbage in 6 of them (1 per platter). Store herb leaves in resealable bags lined with paper towels.

4

In a large bowl, mix giardiniera with sliced radishes, sesame oil, and grapeseed oil. Chill.

5

About 2 hours before serving, get help cutting nectarines: Slice into 1/2- in.-thick wedges and add to giardiniera. Chill 30 minutes, then drain and divide into 6 equal batches.

6

One of you dresses and plates the cabbage and the other adds nectarines and herbs: Put 1 batch sliced cabbage in a large bowl and dollop with 1 cup black garlic dressing. Toss well to mix (cabbage should be thickly coated), then turn out onto a platter. Repeat for remaining 5 batches.

7

Arrange nectarine mixture over cabbage and sprinkle with herbs.

*Find black garlic at well- stocked grocery stores, and easy-to-peel single-clove RioRand Yu Hong Yuan black garlic on amazon. com ($14.99 for a 170-g jar). is a smooth, dense, Vietnamese-style tamarind concentrate found at Asian markets.

Ingredients

Black Garlic Dressing
 1 ½ cups peeled black garlic* (6 to 7 heads)
 2 ¼ cups each mayonnaise and sour cream
 ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
 About 3 1⁄2 tbsp. kosher salt
 ½ cup each chopped tarragon, flat-leaf parsley leaves, and minced chives
Tamarind Giardiniera
 2 ¼ cups thinly sliced shallots (from 3 large)
 ¾ cup seeded and very thinly sliced red fresno chiles (3 medium)
 3 cups each sugar and Champagne vinegar
 3 tbsp each red chile flakes and kosher salt
 ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. nuoc me chua*
Salad
 3 cups thinly sliced radishes
 13 ½ lbs napa cabbage (about 4 large heads), thinly sliced
 2 cups each Thai basil and cilantro leaves
 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
 ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. neutral oil, such as grapeseed
 10 lbs firm-ripe nectarines, peaches, or plums
Serve With
 A toasty, zesty sparkling wine

Directions

1

The day before, get together with a friend. One of you makes the dressing: Purée black garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and 31/2 tbsp. salt in a blender. Turn mixture into a bowl and stir in tarragon, parsley, and chives, adding more salt to taste if you like. Chill.

2

The other person makes the tamarind giardiniera: Put shallots and chiles in a large heat-proof bowl. In a 4- to 6-qt. saucepan, bring sugar, vinegar, chile flakes, salt, tamarind concentrate, and 2 cups water to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Pour boiling liquid over shallots and chiles. Let cool.

3

Working together, prep the vegetables for the salad. Store radishes in 1 resealable bag and cabbage in 6 of them (1 per platter). Store herb leaves in resealable bags lined with paper towels.

4

In a large bowl, mix giardiniera with sliced radishes, sesame oil, and grapeseed oil. Chill.

5

About 2 hours before serving, get help cutting nectarines: Slice into 1/2- in.-thick wedges and add to giardiniera. Chill 30 minutes, then drain and divide into 6 equal batches.

6

One of you dresses and plates the cabbage and the other adds nectarines and herbs: Put 1 batch sliced cabbage in a large bowl and dollop with 1 cup black garlic dressing. Toss well to mix (cabbage should be thickly coated), then turn out onto a platter. Repeat for remaining 5 batches.

7

Arrange nectarine mixture over cabbage and sprinkle with herbs.

*Find black garlic at well- stocked grocery stores, and easy-to-peel single-clove RioRand Yu Hong Yuan black garlic on amazon. com ($14.99 for a 170-g jar). is a smooth, dense, Vietnamese-style tamarind concentrate found at Asian markets.

Summer Nectarine and Herb Salad