TIP OF THE DAY: Stone Fruit Salad - THE NIBBLE Blog
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TIP OF THE DAY: Stone Fruit Salad

“Everybody must get stoned!” sang Bob Dylan in Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.

Someone, whip him up a stone fruit salad!

1. MIX together your favorite greens. We like to add something peppery as a counterpoint to the sweet fruit, such as baby arugula, daikon/radish and/or watercress. We also like to add crunch, in the form of celery, jicama or water chestnuts (the radish does double duty with pepperiness and crunch).

2. TOSS the salad with a light vinaigrette. Try this champagne vinaigrette, or a traditional balsamic vinaigrette, both of which add a bit of sweetness. You can also add a tablespoon of orange juice to a regular vinaigrette.

3. LAYER with sliced stone fruits—either a single fruit or an assortment. You can leave on the skin.

4. SERVE as a side salad or as a main salad with the addition of goat cheese (or other favorite cheese), chicken breast or other protein.

It’s stone fruit season. Dig in!

   

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A stone fruit salad with nectarines and peaches. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

 

WHAT ARE STONE FRUITS?

Stone fruits are members of the Prunus genus, and include apricots, cherries, nectarines, olives, peaches, plums, and cherries and cross-breeds such as apriums, plumcots and pluots.

A stone fruit, also called a drupe, is a fruit with a large, hard stone (pit) inside a fleshy fruit. The stone is often thought of as the the seed, but the seed is actually inside the stone.

In fact, almonds, pecans and walnuts are examples of the seeds inside the stones. They’re also drupes, but a type in which we eat the seed inside the pit instead of the surrounding fruit.

Drupes are members of the Rosaceae family—the rose family—which includes shrubs as well as other prominent fruits (in other genuses) such as apples, loquats, pears, quinces and strawberries.

Not all drupes are stone fruits. The coconut is also a drupe, as are bramble fruits such as blackberries and raspberries. June through September is prime stone fruit season in the U.S.

 

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Nectarines, bursting with flavor, ready for a
salad. Photo courtesy The Fruit Company.

 

HOW TO ENJOY STONE FRUITS

Chef Johnny Gnall says:

“I like to eat stone fruit raw whenever possible. But grilled stone fruit is also delicious; peaches and nectarines are exquisite.” His advice:

  • To grill, halve, pit and cook the fruits just long enough to mark them. The sweetness comes out with the heat and the earthy char in the markings complements them.
  • Another great way to take advantage of stone fruits is to purée them and turn them into emulsified vinaigrettes. Purée the fruit with a bit of hot water, just enough to get things spinning smoothly. Then add the acid and seasonings, and finish with oil as you would a conventional vinaigrette.
  • Bright flavors from a dressing like this work for salads and also as meat marinades: Think pork chops!
  • Here’s a stone fruit salsa recipe.
  •  

    Don’t forget a regular fruit salad, ice cream, smoothies and sorbet!

      




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