Pluot Summer Salad

Pluot Summer Salad Recipe

A lot of the fruit salads this time of year are sweet. Juicy, ripe fragrant fruit with a sweet dressing - summer bliss bite after bite. These compositions live in the dessert category of my brain. That said, there are often times I feel compelled to snap fruit salads out of dessert-land and lead them over to the savory side of the spectrum. One of the more popular examples of this is watermelon, feta, and mint. You probably know the combination well. Sweetness from the melon, salty from the feta, tingly herbaceous from the mint. That's one example, but there are other realms to explore, and many ways to play off the soft sweetness of summer fruit. I thought we might work through some other ideas. Summer fruits are often tender, so bringing crunch and texture to a preparation can be good. Or, the introduction of a medley of green notes with herbs, sprouts, or salad greens. Also, I think we can agree, few things aren't improved by introducing deeply caramelized shallots - this works particularly well in this realm. To inspire, here's an example of what I'm talking about using pluots as the lead fruit. The fruit is set off with toasted ginger, garlic, and shallots. It is drizzled with a simple lime soy sauce dressing, and is generously flecked with herbs - in this case, mint, basil, and cilantro. Also, lots of toasted peanuts.

Pluot Summer Salad RecipePluot Summer Salad RecipePluot Summer Salad Recipe

A couple of notes. I do make an effort to source (what I consider to be) good ginger. I can often find organic Hawaiian ginger, and tend to stock up on that. I don't buy ginger from China, and much of the ginger you encounter, organic or not, is sourced there (at least the ginger you encounter on the west coast of CA).

I deploy a soy sauce/shoyu dressing here, and love it, but I like good soy sauce. That said, if you tend to like the fruit flavor to come through more directly, you can use salt in it's place. Just add the honey to the lime juice, as called for, then whisk in sea salt, until the dressing tastes balanced and delicious to you.

Pluot Summer Salad Recipe


Pluot Summer Salad

This is the sort of preparation that can be easily simplified if needed. You can certainly use a single fruit instead of the blend of pluots, cherries, and dried figs called for. And a single herb, in place of the trio. Really, what you want to do is source the best fruit you can, and start there. Most of the battle with a recipe like this is won or lost at the market. I used Flavor King Pluots here, but go for what tastes best. Start with room temperature fruit. It will allow for the greatest expression of flavor.

2 tablespoons clarified butter or extra-virgin coconut oil
4 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
a 1/2-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce / shoyu
2 teaspoons runny honey
5 ripe pluots, pitted and torn
1 cup pitted cherries, torn in half
4 dried figs, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted peanuts, chopped
a small handful of each, chopped - fresh basil, mint, and cilantro

Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet, and cook the shallots, stirring regularly, until they take on a good amount of color. Stir in the garlic cloves, allow to cook another minute or two, and then stir in the ginger for the final minute. Set aside.

Whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, and honey in a small bowl, until the honey dissolves completely. Taste and adjust if needed.

Arrange the pluots, cherries, and figs in a serving bowl. Drizzle with half of the soy dressing, and toss very gently. Add the shallot mixture, most of the peanuts, and most of the herbs. Toss gently to distribute everything evenly. Taste, decide if you want to add more dressing, and serving sprinkled with the remaining peanuts and herbs.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 15 min - Cook time: 10 min

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Your Comments

July 31, 2014

What a beautifully composed salad, and I love how you explain your approach to it. Structured creativity at its best. Again, love it!


Jules @ WolfItDown
July 31, 2014

Love the addition of peanuts to this! Sweet and salty but in a little less usual form, I like it :D And the colours, wow! ^ ^ I hope the week's treating you well so far :) x


July 31, 2014

How you come up with these amazing flavour combinations all the time, I'll never know!


What a great salad! I always tend to do the same ones over and over again and they never contain any fruits. I will have to give this a try :) thanks for sharing.


July 31, 2014

You had me at toasted ginger. What an awesome combination with the fruit!


This sounds absolutely amazing! Love the dried figs in it as well!
I made a lentil barley salad with blueberries and apricots the other day. Also I added pine nuts for the crunch. YOu always need something crunchy in a salad as well. The dressing was just some orange juice and chili oil... So refreshing for hot summer days.


July 31, 2014

Savory fruit salad? Great idea, and beautiful presentation, as always. I'm excited to try it!


July 31, 2014

I just received some beautiful local plums and THIS is what I will try with some of them!


July 31, 2014

‘If I can't find plots, what fruit would you recommend?


July 31, 2014

Oh wow, I had never even heard of a pluot before, but it's definitely on my list of things to try now!


Well this is completely gorgeous! I looove the flavor combos going on here. How perfect for a Summer lunch outdoors :)


July 31, 2014

I want to try this salad soon! I have had savory fruit salads in the past and have loved them. For example, watermelon, tomatoes, feta, and scallions. Also, blueberry, quinoa, avocado, walnut, and lime juice. This is why I look forward to trying your recipe.


Tessa Gazi
July 31, 2014

Oh my god, pluots, peanuts, figs - I think I start feeling the texture and taste in my mouth and this salad seems especially delicious! Will most definitely try it out soon, thank you for sharing!


July 31, 2014

I remember your dried pluot salad from a couple of years ago- this one reminded me of the other which is so nousihing.


July 31, 2014

I'm so sad I'm allergic to cherries - this time of year, at least. What a beautiful salad!


July 31, 2014

looks delicious! I pulled together a yummy salad recently with fresh spinach, just-picked blueberries, walnuts and gorgonzola--very satisfying!


July 31, 2014

A friend of mine once served up a 'salad' of watermelon and avocado, just sprinkled with flaky salt. I'll never forget it!

This sounds gorgeous, I hope this year is a glut one for plums (it seems to go in cycles here).


July 31, 2014

I like to do savory fruit salads with some greens in the mix as well. Just enough to add color & fiber, so that the fruit is still the primary ingredient. Baby kale and arugula are two favorites for that purpose.


July 31, 2014

oh holy heavens, YUM. And to think, I just came home with a dozen pluots...

(Thank you!!)


Oh my heavens! I am drooling -- not very ladylike but right now I don't care. There are great combinations of salads that don'e have to have a sickly sweet combination. I really enjoy being surprised by flavors -- in a good way. Great post!!


July 31, 2014

I want to try this salad soon! I have had savory fruit salads in the past and have loved them. For example, watermelon, tomatoes, feta, and scallions. Also, blueberry, quinoa, avocado, walnut, and lime juice. This is why I look forward to trying your recipe.


I really love the combination of flavors and your use of fruit in a savory salad here. So refreshing and enticing!


I really love the combination of flavors and your use of fruit in a savory salad here. So refreshing and enticing!


August 1, 2014

Heidi, I had no idea about the ginger! It seems to be true for a lot of the produce coming from China these days, sadly – garlic and tomatoes especially. I will try to pay more attention and source better one, but I envision it being difficult here in the UK. Do you have an online source to suggest? The salad looks stunning, and I have enjoyed your soy-saucy dressing in your other amazing salad of cilantro, asparagus and peanuts. I am sure I will love it just as much here, it just sounds so right!


I was with you all the way, intrigued even and then you mentioned the soy-lime vinaigrette and there was no turning back.


August 2, 2014

Your photo's are beautiful! What a great combination of flavours :)


Rajul Shah
August 3, 2014

Looks amazing. I live in kenya so don't get some if the exotic fruits and also they are rather seasonal. May be I can try it with plums or nectarines instead? I absolutely love all the info and recipes here and the explanation is so simple. Im really glad I found this site.


August 3, 2014

This salad is genius. I'm making it for the second night in a row. I swapped pecans for the peanuts and I loved it. I think this would be great with duck breasts...


August 3, 2014

made it, love it.


August 4, 2014

Where do you find the Hawaiian ginger in San Francisco? I live in the Western Addition and often buy mine at Bi-Rite which carries organic ginger from Peru.


August 4, 2014

Where have you found ginger from Hawaii? I'm in the Bay Area, so maybe from the same source you've found -

HS: Hi A - usually at Bi-Rite or Rainbow. :)


August 5, 2014

The weather has been hot here and salads are the only way to go. I like creating salads with an ethnic twist - using Thai, or Indian spices and seasonings in an oil and vinegar dressing. I have just started to add nuts to salads - it is a great way to add another texture. Loved your recipe and will give it a try. Thanks


Crazy Radishes
August 5, 2014

Just did a version of this - with mint as the sole herb and peach, apricot and two dried dates as the fruit. Everything else I did as written and it is UTTERLY DELICIOUS.


August 5, 2014

If anyone knows where one could purchase fresh (Hawaiin) ginger online, please consider posting a link. We use quite a lot of ginger purchased (weekly) at "Market of Choice" in the Pacific Northwest area. I'll get with the produce manager there, but in the meanwhile I have only found wholesalers online. Thanks a bunch.


August 5, 2014

continued . . the produce manager reported that this recent shipment of ginger (in Oregon) came from Peru. Gosh, we eat a lot of organic ginger: dressings, marinades, tea, salads and I even sometimes rub some the (unusable) shredded rhizome on my wrists and neck . . for a perfume while in the kitch. So fragrant.


August 6, 2014

dinner last night was this lovely salad and the broccoli - coconut milk soup you posted some time ago. went down really well! thank you! some steamed corn and grilled chicken ... and the whole meal came together in an hour ... many thanks!


August 7, 2014

This looks so summery and fresh. I love light salads especially on hot summer days. Today my dinner will include this. Thanks for sharing it.


August 9, 2014

Oh, you had me until you said cilantro! The salad sounds and looks beautiful, but to me cilantro ruins a dish. Just a few leaves added and thats all you can taste. Think i will try this salad tomorrow minus the cilantro.


Mrs D
August 12, 2014

Thoughtful writing Heidi - I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks again for another lovely recipe, photos and writing.


August 16, 2014

I live in Nepal, and the fruit selection here is quite different than in the States. Right now, asian pears, persimmons, and pomegranates are in season, but no pluots or plums. I made a substitution with those three, minus the dried fruit, and it turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the recipe!


August 18, 2014

agh! my late night dinner couldn't have been better. this dish has a lot going for it


August 20, 2014

Great fresh looking salad. it looks so tempting. i will put it on show tonight. thanks for this fresh recipe!


Looks like a very refreshing and healthy salad. I will be making this one very soon.