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 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • 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!!

    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
  • oh holy heavens, YUM. And to think, I just came home with a dozen pluots... (Thank you!!)

    molly
  • 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.

    Jo
  • 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).

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

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

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

    Francesca
  • 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!

    Tessa Gazi
  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

    Christine
  • 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.

    Tina | Mademoiselle Gourmande
  • You had me at toasted ginger. What an awesome combination with the fruit!

    Amy
  • 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.

    andree-anne @ singly scrumptious
  • How you come up with these amazing flavour combinations all the time, I'll never know!

    Maja
  • 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

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

    sabine@mamangerie
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