Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer's Stone Fruit Salad

I just love this time of year!

Besides the sight of watermelon back in the stores and better yet in my kitchen, I just love seeing the stone fruits roll in. And oh, the aroma! Apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, plums, cherries, sigh….. Just mouthwatering! I could live on these things.

Stone fruit at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market
photo source: Forks Over Knives

So as I sat looking at the assortment on my counter today, deciding which to cut up and enjoy, I thought why should I have to choose? Let's make a big party for all of them. And then a few raspberries in the fridge felt a little left out so I added them as well.

Besides just cutting all the fruit up and placing them in a bowl, which would be delicious too, I decided to poke around the net and come up with an idea for how to add a dressing and some greens to wrap it all together. I'm really working hard at getting my 1lb of raw greens minimum in per day so a salad seemed a good idea.

And it was!

I stumbled across this recipe for Stone Fruit with Toasted Almonds on My Recipes, originally from Cooking Light and with a few tweaks thought I'd give it a go. This is a little different for me as it uses a sweet wine in the dressing but it's basically a reduction sauce so little if any alcohol is left. Paired with a splash of white balsamic vinegar, it makes for a nice light dressing that lets the fruit sing.

The key to this is to use an assortment of fresh and ripe stone fruit. Go ahead and use whatever you have on hand. Below is a list of what I had that was sweet and juicy and ready to go but cherries would be a nice addition as well.

Summer's Stone Fruit Salad

This is a very simple and elegant salad using wine and vinegar to cut the sweetness while at the same time dressing the greens. Below is what I used to make this recipe.


1 cup riesling or other sweet wine
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or other white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon almond oil, optional
3 plums
2 peaches
2 donut peaches
2 nectarines
3 apricots
8 cups of mixed baby greens
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, optional

Start with placing the wine in a small sauce pan and heat on medium high heat until the liquid is reduced down to about 2 tablespoons.

While that is on the stove, approximately 10 minutes, start pitting and slicing the fruit over a bowl to catch any of the juices and place the sliced fruit in another bowl.

When the wine is reduced, add in the vinegar and oil if using and mix with the fruit juices.

To serve, toss the salad greens in a large bowl with the fruit, dressing and slivered almonds until well mixed. Plate and add raspberries if using.

This is as delicious as it is beautiful.

As I sit here looking at the apricots in the above photo, I can't help but remember a time from my childhood when I first discovered fresh apricots. One California summer, a patient of my dad's had invited our family to come to his ranch for a dinner. We drove for what seemed like forever and then up a hill that was covered with rows and rows of trees. We had never seen a ranch and the idea that the trees had food in it never even crossed our minds.  I must have been about 9 years old and my brother was probably 5 or 6. Once inside the house, we quickly became bored and I'm sure underfoot and were sent outside to play until the meal was ready.  I was an avid tree climber at that age but my little brother not so much. We wandered around the roads for a while but eventually I had to start climbing the trees. It didn't take long up in the trees to discover the ripe fruit and even though I had no idea what it was, I tested it out. Pretty courageous of me since I was a very finicky eater and had never eaten from a tree before. I shared the bounty with my brother and surprisingly he loved them just as much. In total gluttony, we picked and ate apricot after apricot as the sun went down.

Eventually it became dark and we were called in to the house to eat but of course we were already stuffed. I'm sure I swore my brother to secrecy about our smorgasbord but not doubt we were covered in apricot juice. When my brother got sick, the gig was finally up for sure and I was in trouble.  Little brothers. What can I say.

But that memory of sitting in a tree, high up on a hill over looking a valley as the sun went down eating juicy apricots on a warm summer night will always stay with me.

I hope you have some similar fond summer fruit memories.


I shared this recipe over at Allergy Free Wednesday's blog hop. I hope you check it out.

Until next time….

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  1. I love this time of year too Jodi. Gives me a running shot at staying on the healthy food track.

    Beautiful and informative blog :)

    1. Thanks Deborah. I agree Summer sure entices to eat fresh and simple.