Once you have eaten your fill of fresh nectarines unadorned, then it's time to get creative. Fresh nectarines can add pizzazz to any course of a meal, from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. Don't get stuck in a rut with the typical cake, pie and fruit crisp recipes. Try adding nectarines to any part of your menu when you have an abundance of this fresh fruit on hand.
Serve a flavorful nectarine salsa for dipping chips or to accompany grilled chicken, fish or pork. Start with three ripe chopped nectarines, ½ cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and Serrano chili and cilantro to taste. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt, mix all together and let sit for an hour to allow flavors to blend.
Create a sweet and savory salad with cubed nectarines, Jarlsberg cheese and cooked chicken. Toss these three ingredients with a dressing of a splash of white wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon curry powder mixed in with 1 tablespoon each mayonnaise, chutney, and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper and toss all together. Serve the salad on lettuce leaves or in green pepper halves, garnished with scallions.
Dress up grilled halibut with two nectarines and a cup of Zinfandel wine. Add the two items mentioned to some mushrooms sautéed in butter. Toss in a few green onions and simmer until the fruit becomes soft. Thicken with cornstarch and pour over the hot grilled fish.
Make baked nectarines by arranging cut pitted nectarine halves in a baking pan. Place a dollop of sour cream on each and then sprinkle with brown sugar and sliced almonds. Bake for about 20 minutes or until sugar is melted and nuts are nicely browned. Serve warm.
Freeze nectarines and enjoy them for months to come. Wash, peel, pit and slice the nectarines. Mix ¼ teaspoon of ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons of cold water. Sprinkle this mixture over a quart of sliced fruit. Stir ½ cup sugar per quart of fruit and let it stand for 15 minutes. Pack the nectarines into freezer containers, leaving some room for expansion during freezing. Close tightly and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator before using or add nectarines still frozen to your favorite smoothie recipe.