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Radicchio-Nectarine Summer Stack

August 16, 2009

~ Katy ~

It’s a stacked dinner!  Some years back My Great Sister Mary gave me this cookbook:  Stacks the Art of Vertical Food along with a set of 6 cylinders and a press.  I had a small dinner party planned with some very good friends, most of whom are married with children.  I figured this was an excellent time to try out some new recipes from the Stacks cookbook since they aren’t used to 1) having food cooked for them, 2) eating fabulous tasting and looking food and 3) a night away from “What’s for dinner?” and “Do we have to eat this?”

 

So, I decided on a stacked extravaganza.  After all, who doesn’t like vertical food?  I use soup cans for the additional stacking.  They have square kits and pyramid kits that I should probably look into one of these days.  But the stacks taste great in the round form, so I figure for now, we’re just fine.

My friend Sue, whom I have know for over 20 years now, just finished adding parent education to her teaching credits.  It’s a lengthy program, and with 3 kids, a husband, 2 dogs, a large house and a pool (read:  neighbors stopping by all the time), she managed to handle all of this, work part time and take classes.  A lot of classes.  Plus student teaching.  So, we decided we’d better celebrate this accomplishment.  Our little group, whom I like to call the London Girls since most of us met during a Literature in London program through the U of M, got together, and this stacks menu is what followed.

We started with the Radicchio-Nectarine Summer Stack.  It sure looked good, and I liked the dressing.  However, the apricots weren’t sweet enough to offset the bitterness of the radicchio.  While it was good (especially with the blue cheese crumbles), it’s not a stack I’ll make again.  There are a couple of other salad stacks I’ve made that are much better.  I’ll get those recipes on Foodo when I make them again.

 

Radicchio-Nectarine

 

Summer Stacks

6 servings

Planning Ahead

-This whole stack can be made 2 hours ahead, making it a great choice for entertaining. 

-The vinaigrette can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated. 

1.5 heads radicchio, chopped

 6 oz. quality blue cheese, crumbled

 6 nectarines (or peaches), coarsely chopped  

1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Nectarine Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

 

Assembly

Spray 6 stack cylinders with vegetable spray and place them on a sheet pan.  Layer stacks in the following order:  ¼ cup radicchio, 1.5 Tablespoons blue cheese, ¼ cup nectarine, 1 teaspoon walnuts.  Repeat the layers.  Press down, gently but firmly.  Refrigerate until serving time, chilling at least one hour. 

To serve, slide a spatula under each stack cylinder and transfer to a serving plate.  Spoon 2 Tablespoons of dressing on the plate.  Just prior to unmolding the salad, drizzle a little dressing over the salad, and serve.

Nectarine Vinaigrette

 

Yeild:  2 cups

1 ripe nectarine (or peach), seeded and chopped

1 cup nectarine (or peach) nectar

¼ cup Japanese seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon sweet mustard

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 Tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil

 

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Strain through a strainer and refrigerate.

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