Cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums... summer fruit is heaven and all you need to start the day or end a meal. Generally I'd say the less you meddle the better - it's just so perfect on its own. If you mess with summer fruits you better be doing it for a good reason. This dessert is a very good reason.
Griddled nectarines with a cocoa, lime and olive oil pesto is a dessert that manages to be light and summery but also grown up and very moreish - you WILL lick the plate.
Choose nectarines that are ripe but firm for fruit that is juicy and sweet and, ideally, has a little bite. For the pesto crunchy cocoa nibs are sweetened with a pinch of sugar and some dark chocolate. Then, there's a little hint of lime and a whisper of salt. Finca la Torre's sublime Hojiblanca with its herbal, grassy notes pulls it all together beautifully and echos the herbal aniseed notes of the basil.
Best of all it's really easy to make. You can prepare everything ahead of time then serve with vanilla ice-cream and a glass of something nice -try Pedro Ximenez or any dessert wine you like.
Grilled Nectarines with Cocoa and Lime Pesto with Finca la Torre's Hojiblanca.
- 4 large or 6 medium size just-ripe nectarines or peaches
- Olive oil for grilling
For the pesto:
- 25 Basil leaves
- 2 heaped tablespoons Cocoa Nibs
- 35gr Dark Chocolate (70%) broken into pieces
- Pinch of flakey Salt
- 1 level teaspoon White Sugar
- 1/4 cup Finca la Torre's Hojiblanca
- 1 Lime
First off make the pesto - combine the nibs, basil, salt, sugar and chocolate in a mortar and pound until to a paste.
Stir in the zest of your lime and the olive oil. Mix well and correct to taste - a little more lime? a pinch of salt? Whatever you think. Or, it might just be perfect as is. Set aside.
To prepare the nectarines, cut each one in half and scoop out the stone. Sometimes a teaspoon will do the job but you may need a knife for this. Heat a griddle pan and brush the flesh side of each nectarine with olive oil. Place each half nectarine skin side up on the pan and cook for about 3 -4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside for later if you're making ahead.
To serve, place 2 large or 3 medium halves on a plate. Give the pesto a stir then top each nectarine with a dollop of the pesto and a basil leaf. Serve with vanilla ice-cream and swoon.