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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
120gm punnet rocket leaves
1 small red shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
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.