Weeknight Shorts: Stone Fruit Stars
I love stone fruits and this time of the year is heavenly when it comes to the selection of such juicy gems. I snack on them, bake them into pies, muffins, and cakes, swirl them into everything from dessert sauce to ice cream, and generally find any reason I can to include them in my meals. So when I find myself with the makings of a salad on hand, of course my bowl ends up looking like this:
Instead of the traditional sweet treatment, here peaches and cherries take center stage in a savory salad. However, several nods to their sweetness are given in the form of a crunchy granola topping and a dressing brimming with a sweet tanginess in the form of honey mustard and lemonade. It's summer through and through.
Now, if you happen to have nectarines and plums, go for it. If you don't have granola, but do have a small handful of crunchy almonds, I'm not about to stand in your way. The point is that there is a lot of variety that can go into this salad and still have it being absolutely wonderful. Even the dressing can undergo some tweaks, although I would recommend favoring a sweet-tart combination like raspberry vinaigrette or the like. It makes for a nice method of blending the traditional savory salad flavors with the incredibly sweet, juicy elements offered by the stone fruit.
Now, if you ask me, the perfect way to enjoy this salad is with a glass of chilled white wine or lemonade. Of course, you could probably have a ham sandwich or some kind of summery bruschetta, but part of the appeal of meals like this are how simple and quick they are to assemble. Don't stand in the way of that with additional fussing. Just pour yourself a glass of something lovely, grab a fork, and enjoy this absolutely stunning salad.
- 1 cup torn romaine lettuce
- 2/3 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 freestone peach, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4-6 bing cherries, halved and pitted
- 1 oz. crumbled chèvre
- 1/4 cup granola - choose your favorite variety
- 2 T. mayonnaise
- 1 T. spicy honey mustard
- 1 T. lemonade
In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumber, peach pieces, cherries, chèvre, and granola. Set aside.
In a small resealable jar, combine the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously to combine. Add additional lemonade if the resulting dressing is too thick.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.
- Yields: 1 serving
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes