Close this search box.

Nectarine & rocket salad with cheat’s caramelised balsamic

Rocket, stone fruit, parmesan – it’s such a classic combination, particularly when it’s paired with a drizzle of syrupy sweet dark vinegar. But shelling out a pretty penny for aged or caramelised balsamic can feel like money down the drain, considering how quickly it gets used up. This cheat’s method, which speeds up the process with a glug of maple syrup, is a perfect way to use up what you’ve already got in the pantry. Warning: this might sting your eyes, but the resulting elixir is worth it.


  • 3-4 firm nectarines (preferably freestone) thinly sliced
  • 120 g rocket leaves
  • 1 small red shallot thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts chopped
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Olive oil
  • Salt flakes and cracked black pepper
  • Shaved parmesan to serve


  • Reduce balsamic and maple syrup together in a small pot on high heat. Pour into a jar (for storing any excess) and allow to cool slightly.
  • Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, then arrange parmesan on top, and drizzle with caramelised balsamic.
  • Serve without saying a word about where the balsamic came from – your guests will think you’ve spent a bomb.


If you’re taking this to a party, bring the elements in separate containers and toss together when you get there. If you’re pressed for time, combine everything except the caramelised balsamic, cheese and olive oil.

Sign up for regular recipes