I have a recent visit to Webersburg Wine Estate to photograph the food of chef Nadia Roux to thank for this delicious recipe for Grilled Nectarine and Lentil Salad with Red Pepper Pesto. Nadia loves to work with fruit in savoury dishes and after photographing her Grilled Mango with blueberries and Danish Feta Salad I asked for another recipe I could make for the blog.
Overlooking beautiful mountains and a large pond dotted with ducks the bistro is bright and airy. The food Nadia serves is easy, unfussy, bistro style food. All made from scratch by her team. She plays with flavours and textures in her Chef’s Speciality Salad depending on the season and what is available. “I use a lot of fresh fruit in my cooking and feel that fruit are often overlooked as elements in savoury dishes. They bring out new bouquets of flavours when paired with meats and other proteins.” says Nadia as she preps the salad to be photographed.
I love photographing burgers and the Webersburg Burger does not disappoint. Topped with strong Cheddar cheese, homemade mustard mayo and served in a brioche bun it is a meal of beauty. Nadia serves the burger with hand cut potato chips. She laughs when she says that she is not always sure the hand cut chips was the best idea, it is a lot of work but now there is no way she can take it off the menu – diners love them too much!
We talk trends and recipe books. She claims she has too many recipe books but loves all of them. Nopi, the new Ottolenghi book is already a favourite and she says that every foodie and chef should own Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. She reads up about trends but it does not influence the menu that much. “If there are elements that can be implemented into our food, I’ll try it out. But ultimately our nature is to go back to what we know and like and for that we stand ready with what we offer with our own flair.”
Nadia mentions there is always onion, garlic and butter in her kitchen. And what does she cook when she does not feel like cooking? “Pasta with basil pesto – quick easy and tasty”.
I tweaked Nadia’s recipe she gave me by adding lentils to the salad to make it more substantial to serve as a meal on it’s own. Nectarines are going out of season now but you can replace it with plums or even pears that are coming in season. I do think the salad will be a colourful and tasty addition to your Easter table. The red pepper pesto would also be fantastic with grilled lamb. The recipe is merely an indication and you can add other ingredients as you please on the day.
Below is a gallery with more imges of my day :
- 1 whole nectarine, sliced into wedges (or use plums or pears depending on season)
- Olive oil
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- Apple cider vinegar
- 3 baby cucumbers, sliced
- Fresh baby herb leaves
- 100g Chevin cheese, crumbled
- 2 red bell peppers
- olive oil
- handful of cashew nuts, toasted
- 3 tbsp grated pecorino cheese
- 1 clove garlic, roasted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven grill
- Make the pesto by rubbing the peppers with oil and placing under the grill
- Turn the peppers regularly and grill until the skin is black and blistered in spots
- Place the peppers in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap so that the peppers sweat and cool down
- Once cooled, peel off the skin and deseed the peppers
- Place the peppers in a blender with the nuts, cheese and garlic
- Blend to a paste, adding more olive oil as needed and season to taste
- Lightly brush the nectarine wedges with olive oil and neatly grill on a griddle pan on each side until griddle marks appear. Set aside
- Drizzle the cooked lentils with some olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar
- Add the cucumber and mix through
- Top the lentils with the nectarine wedges and then with the cheese and herbs
- Dot the salad with the pesto and serve the rest of the pesto on the side
Disclaimer : I was an invited by Red Carpet Concepts to visit Webersburg Wine Estate and photograph the food for heinstirred.com