brunch, salads

farmers’ market mondays: stone fruit salad.

And so my love affair with stone fruit continues.

This will be a brief post, as I am feverishly working through my baking and cooking experiments over the past few weeks to get them out to you. At the same time, I’m packing for my summer vacation, which means I’m knee-deep in potential outfits and iTunes is working overtime trying to find me the best possible summer beach music for our annual vacation soundtrack. In the midst of all this, I’m patiently removing pits from cherries, apricots, plums, and nectarines just for you.

In the spirit of summer heat, I give you this fruit salad. Fruit salad, you say. Surely this can’t be a meal; fruit salads only work as an accompaniment to a main dish.


Fruit salad can be a main dish, and this particular one is just perfect for a summer meal; it’s hearty, has a really nice sweet/tart flavor combination, and is practically popping with all sorts of different stone fruits, all of which are in season right now, at least where I’m at. I know some of your areas come after mine, which means you can get yourself all ready to make this.

Unlike my ode to nectarines a week or so ago, this recipe did call for the fruit to be peeled. And I did my best, giving up on only the plums because I was afraid they would just fall apart if I tried to mess with them too much. I say if you don’t feel like you need to spend the time peeling your fruit, your salad will be none the worse for it.

I did feel the original recipe could use some sprucing up, shall we say, so I made some changes I think you’ll like. Instead of almonds, I used walnuts. I think walnuts have a more earthy flavor, and I think because of that, they pair better with a tangy goat cheese than almonds do. The original recipe also called for “mixed greens,” and that’s also fine, but for me, it’s a little ho-hum, especially with such sweet fruit. Instead of regular mixed greens, I used baby arugula, which added a pungent little pepper flavor to the mix. Arugula, walnuts and goat cheese is a fantastic salad on its own, but add in the stone fruits, and you’ve got yourself a sunset-tinted party.

One final note in regards to dressing this salad. For the first time in Farmers’ Market Monday history, I’m going to tell you the dressing is optional. Why? Because fruit this juicy tends to make its own dressing of sorts, so please do what you feel up to. I had this once with the white wine vinaigrette, and it was wonderful. The next day, just to see if it would work, I added the smallest splash of olive oil and white wine vinegar to the arugula, tossed it, and then threw in everything else. Still incredibly delicious, but with even less effort.

Here’s to stone fruits, people. And summer. And iTunes. And me hopefully getting tons of food out to you this week. Because after that, I’m taking you on vacation/location with me.

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine. You can find the original recipe I worked from here. I can honestly tell you I read Cooking Light from cover to cover. Surprising, considering my thing is sugar-laden desserts, but I do eat real things. And they never disappoint in the “good for you and also delicious” department.

Stone Fruit Salad

for the dressing:

  • 1 cup Riesling or other sweet white wine
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
for the salad:
  • 6-8 cups baby arugula
  • 4 plums, sliced into 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 white flesh nectarines, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 nectarines, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 apricots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries, halved
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (2-4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese (depending on how much you want to use)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper for serving

make your dressing:

Heat wine in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.

assemble the salad:

Toss desired amount of arugula (again, this is according to what ratios you prefer) into a bowl with your vinaigrette and toss gently to coat leaves. Alternatively, if you’re just going with the olive oil/vinegar option I mentioned in the post, do the same; toss in and coat, then season with sea salt and black pepper.

Add your fruit, folding it gently into your arugula. Check the seasoning, and then portion out onto 3-4 plates. Top with goat cheese and walnuts, and season again with a little sea salt and black pepper before serving. Serve immediately and enjoy immensely. I did.

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  • Reply Jen @ Juanita's Cocina June 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Sooooo utterly jealous of your beach vacation. If I promise to bring your more stone fruit, will you save me a cot in the corner?

    This looks seriously good. Like, seriously.

    Plus, there is WINE in the dressing. I mean, hello? Wine.

    Two thumbs up on a scale of two, my darlin’.

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      i thought you’d like this one. AND, if you wanted to, you could basically sub in peaches and then half the salad LIVES IN YOUR YARD ALREADY. too bad your grass isn’t baby arugula. now that i think about it, too bad everyone’s grass isn’t baby arugula. yum.

      someday, we’re all going on vacation together. because it sounds too fun to not plan. what a hoot. and i mean “hoot” as in Webster’s Dictionary definition of “hoot.” there would be a picture of our vacation next to the word.

  • Reply Emma June 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Phew, I thought you were going to tell me to peel the cherries. Sounds like my kind of salad, as I’m not a big fan of dressings.

    Oooh, beach vacation. Ohh ohh ohhh!

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      no way! peeling fruit isn’t my thing. honestly, i probably wouldn’t peel any of it if i was just making it quick for myself. i’m not picky about skins unless they’re inedible. and you really don’t need dressing, so yes; totally up your alley. the splash of white wine vinegar and olive oil gives it a nice zing and a roundness, but you could go naked salad and be fine too.

      i know! i have to focus on getting the house in order and packing, because my brain is sort of already at the beach, i fear.

  • Reply sister table June 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    this better be going in my face in approximately ten days.

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      dear sister,

      noted. you will be face-first in some stone fruit salad the minute you arrive. i’ll add it to the grocery list.

      • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        also, i like it when you threaten me.

      • Reply movita beaucoup June 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm

        I’d make her peel the cherries.

        • Reply shannon June 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

          i would, but she never, ever listens to me. 🙂

  • Reply Choc Chip Uru June 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Beach vacation, summery salad and fresh fruit all around – does oit get any better?? 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      i know, right? we’re hitting my favorite part of summer with fruit AND with vacation, so my answer is no; it doesn’t get any better. 🙂

  • Reply sara June 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Yum, this looks super delicious and perfect for summer! I love stone fruits with goat cheese-so great together!

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      sara, i completely agree! i love stone fruit and goat cheese together; mild and tangy, but not so much that it takes away from the sweetness of the fruit. thank you!

  • Reply Brianne June 19, 2012 at 6:01 am

    This is just thing to satisfy my stone fruit fever AND get me back in decent dietary order after my vacation. Sweet!

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      brianne, i bet some fruit is totally in order after that decadent chocolate cake you made. i completely understand about stone fruit fever…everything’s starting to get plentiful around here and i can’t get enough. stone fruits are nature’s candy.

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog June 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Shannon, you never cease to amaze me. This salad is gorgeous, and the fruit looks so juicy and sweet. I know you said the dressing is optional, but the dressing has my favorite wine of all time in it, so I think I’d have to drizzle a bit on.

    Vacation? That sounds like fun. Have an amazing time!



    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      jennie, if riesling is your fave wine, by all means use the dressing; it’s got a lovely sweet-wine flavor and i bet you’ll really enjoy it. it’s a nice contrast to the fruit, for sure. a little goes a long way, in my opinion, so drizzle away! 🙂

      happy vacation to you too…are you back yet? i’m really looking forward to it; it’s this week (the week before i leave) that’s always the hectic one which makes me anxious to get out of here. 🙂 thanks!

  • Reply Willow June 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Gorgeous salad! I could eat this every single day and always be happy. Wow! 🙂

    • Reply shannon June 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      willow, thank you! believe it or not, this salad was prettier in person than in the meager photos i ended up getting. there are days when i just know my photography skills won’t truly do food justice, and this was one of them. wait until you see it live on your table; just glistening and all sunset-colored. i could eat this every day too; now if only my stone fruits were in season 365 days a year…:)

  • Reply movita beaucoup June 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I adore the colours in that salad, and I think walnuts were the perfect addition to the mix. There’s just something about walnuts and goat cheese… mmmmm! Local produce is kicking in to high gear here, but no fresh stone fruit yet. I’ll just fold the corner at the top of this page and come back later…

    • Reply shannon June 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      i adore the way your people spell things with “ou” versus “o”. i’ve always been envious of that. i’ve tried to get away with it from time to time, but to no avail. it makes words look prettier. also, i’ve always wondered who thinks who is spelling it incorrectly. 🙂

      sadly, since i have no idea what i’m doing in terms of photography, this salad looked about 79 times better in person; it was so, so glorious and i tried, and it turned out all right, but in person, it shines like the sun. I agree; walnuts and goat cheese are one of my favorite combinations of all time. i’ll be so thrilled when those of you north of me start getting things in! i feel i’m getting you all warmed up for your season of fruit and veggie bliss.

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