Stone fruits are also referred to as a drupe, which is a fruit where the outer fleshy parts surround the pit or stone. Stone fruits include peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries.
I don't know about the rest of you, but this summer has definitely been a hot one. Even here in southern California. I don't know if it's the heat or the pregnancy cravings, but the only appetite I've had is for salads, fruits and vegetables. Hubby took me out to eat and laughed at me because I ordered a salad. He said, "why would you order that when you can have it at home anytime?". I don't have an answer because I have no idea why. I basically spend the day snacking on carrots, celery, tomatoes, cherries, apples, grapes, peaches, pears, etc. Maybe it's because most days I have to force myself to eat so the fruit added with a slice of toast or a small cup of jello here and there has been the easiest things for me to keep down. Although, even when I
hopefully do get my appetite back, I don't see my intense craving for fresh fruit going anywhere. Dishes like these are perfect for summer...they are crisp, refreshing and involve no cooking time!!! And anything that tastes good and I don't actually have to cook gets 5 stars in my book!
There is a very important thing you need to know before making this salad (or for any fruit/veggie salad): you must use very fresh, ripe fruit and tomatoes, or it is not going to taste very good. Trust me, I know. We do our shopping at Fresh n' Easy, Trader Joe's and Sprout's Farmers Market. I love Fresh n' Easy because they have excellent prices (hey, we're on a budget here) and a very good assortment of the things I like to buy. However, the truth is that I always have a hard time when getting fruit from there. It doesn't last long at all so you have to plan on using them right away. There have also been times when I've had to really pick through the fruit because it is rotting or wilting before it even leaves the store. Your best bet is going to be to get fruit and vegetables from a local farmer's market (or you can specially order boxes from larger places). Farmers markets are becoming increasingly popular so it is getting easier to find ones close to you. Almost any day of the week, there is a farmers market being set up somewhere around where we live. I love that it is becoming more convenient to get better quality products. I am also a BIG supporter of small businesses, so any way that I can give my business to them, I will. That being said, there are just those times when there might not always be these fresh produce stands when you need them, where you need them. That is why getting my produce at Sprout's is the next best thing in our area.
*Note: It is up to you whether you choose to peel your fruit or not. Hubby and I both love the peels on stone fruits and I think it gives it a nice texture so I left the peels on all of our fruit. It's all a matter of personal preference.
Prep: 30 min. ~ Cook: 2 min. ~ Total: 32 min. ~ Serves: 5-7
2 medium (or one very large) heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 handful of baby heirloom tomatoes (or you can use cherry tomatoes), halved
3 nectarines, cut into wedges
2 peaches, cut into wedges
2 red plums, cut into wedges
1/4 cup slivered red onion
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed or crumbed
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Whisk together cider vinegar, olive oil and honey to make vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve on salad plates and drizzle with olive oil, if desired. May garnish with fresh bread crumbs.
This is a variation of the salad I had made before. I used peaches and pears and did not add cheese or salt and pepper: