Goat Cheese and Pistachio Stone Fruit Salad

One of my favorite summer foods is stone fruit. To me, those beautiful yellow, orange, pink, and purple fruits are so sweet and juicy, perfect for salads and outdoor eating. Peaches! Plums! Apricots! Cherries! This time of year, I want them all.

Stone fruit took on a new meaning to me when I went down to North Carolina to see Dave's family for the first time. I had thought we got perfectly fine peaches in Vermont (even a few intrepid local ones). But then I learned- a true southern peach, consumed close to the orchard where it was grown, is unlike anything that has ever arrived in Vermont on a truck.

I vividly remember my first North Carolina peach. It was about the size of my head and came from a roadside stand. It was so juicy that juice ran down my arm and made a huge sticky mess in the rental car (eventually, Dave made me hold it out the window). I think my first trip down there was about eight years ago, and the peaches still excite me every time we go.

This salad celebrates stone fruit in all its glory. You can use whatever you have on-hand, or go crazy and use it all, like I've shown here. I love grilled peaches and apricots, and prefer plums raw, but do what works for you. If you do decide to grill some or all of your fruit, use a very hot grill, a very short time (just enough to get a bit of char), and remember to oil the grill generously.

In order to make the stone fruit the start of the show, the rest of this salad is simple. Delicate Boston or Butter lettuce provides a frilly backdrop, goat cheese lends some creaminess and tang, and pistachios provide a delightful crunch. Because of all the juicy fruits, this salad doesn't need a traditional dressing; just a very light drizzle of olive oil, a more generous drizzle of honey, and some flaky sea salt keep the fruit in the forefront. Sometimes simple is best!

Of course, if you're completely plant-based, you can leave off the cheese. In that case (or in addition to), some avocado will provide creaminess. Likewise, using maple syrup in place of honey would work perfectly well.

We'll be eating this salad all summer long out on our deck. I hope you will be too!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram. 

Looking for another salad that screams summer? This Roasted Corn, Avocado, and Strawberry Salad is just the thing.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Stone fruits! Use whatever combination speaks to you. I like using a diversity of colors, shapes, and sizes to make for a really beautiful salad.
  • Head of Boston or Butter lettuce
  • Big handful of goat cheese. Or use Feta if you prefer. Something fresh and summery! Avocado would be a good vegan substitution.
  • Handful of roasted and salted pistachios
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil. In this context, I prefer one that's light and a bit fruity.
  • 2-3 tbsp honey. Or maple syrup for a vegan version.
  • Sea salt. Because you're not cooking with it, it's critical to use something with small grains. I love fleur de sel, which is light and flaky, but anything non-crunchy is fine.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Prep your fruits. Cut halves or wedges as you desire; consider different shapes for different fruits for an interesting visual effect.
  2. If you want to grill any of the fruit, oil the grill (or grill pan) generously. I prefer coconut oil for fruit. Grill halves or wedges cut-side down for only a minute or two at very high heat, just enough to get a bit of char. Make sure to cool any grilled pieces completely so that they don't cause the lettuce to wilt.
  3. Arrange your lettuce and fruit on a serving platter or board. The photos above show lettuce on the bottom and fruit scattered across the top, but do what works for you.
  4. Add goat cheese and pistachios across the top. If you're planning to bring this salad to a potluck, I'd suggest leaving these off until the last minute so that they don't get soggy.
  5. Give a very light drizzle of olive oil across the salad, then a more generous drizzle of honey. Finish it with some flaky sea salt.


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