Grilled Stone Fruit, Goat Cheese, and Pistachio Salad


(Note: this post was originally published on July 28, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

A Celebration of Stone Fruit

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 meet 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.

To Grill or Not to Grill

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. But if you don't want to deal with the grill, no worries; this salad is equally as delightful (and faster!) with everything raw.

Simple, Summery Ingredients

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 much in the way of dressing; I like to use just a really simple mixture of olive oil, champagne vinegar, and honey. Sometimes simple is best!

An added benefit of these simple ingredients is that this salad comes together in a pinch! It's great for throwing together to go alongside a summer meal, or maybe even for a special lunch when stone fruits are at their peak. While I'm usually a huge fan of kale, the butter lettuce hear requires virtually no prep other than a quick wash, and I adore its frilly texture.

Are you a fan of grilled stone fruit? I think it's pure summer magic! If you love it too, then definitely check out this Grilled Peach and Farro Salad; it's a little bit more substantial and can serve as a light dinner for warm summer evenings.

Customize It

This salad is super forgiving and can be customized in a lot of ways. Can't find butter lettuce? Use Boston lettuce or anything else light and frilly. Love feta? Use it in place of goat cheese, since they both have a similar fresh, salty taste. Don't have all the stone fruits on-hand? No worries! This will work great with whatever you have and whatever you love most.

You also have a lot of options with how you present this salad. As you can see from the photos, I like to plate it on a big serving board. It's just so beautiful and I love to display all that gorgeous fruit!

Veganize It

If you want to make a vegan version of this salad, you just need to make two simple swaps. First, instead of the goat cheese, use either vegan feta (delightfully creamy and salty!) or avocado. The latter is my personal preference, but use what you have available. Then, instead of honey in the dressing, use maple syrup. The end result has the same summery flavors and same wonderful textures.

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Stone fruit. You can really use whatever you love. That said, I think this salad is most impressive when you have a whole mix of stone fruit, so diversity is great if possible. I like to use a peach, a couple plums, a few apricots, and both red and yellow cherries.
  • Grilling oil. I prefer olive oil to match the dressing, but anything is fine. Oil the grill generously though, it's so important for fruit!
  • Butter lettuce. Swoon! I love this stuff. But you can sub any frilly, delicate leafy lettuce in its place, or use a mixture of a few different kinds.
  • Goat cheese. Or feta! Or use vegan feta or avocado instead.
  • Pistachios. In theory you could use another nut here, but the pistachios just make this salad feel so special.
  • Olive oil. This is the time to break out your really special, robustly-flavored finishing oil.
  • Champagne vinegar. I love the delicate, fruity flavor of champagne vinegar. If you don't have it, red wine vinegar is probably your next best bet, or maybe a white balsamic. Stay away from anything assertive or it will overwhelm this delicate salad.
  • Honey. Or use maple syrup for a vegan version. If you buy natural honey, you might need to warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave to help it mix into the dressing.
  • Flaky sea salt. Please get yourself some fleur de sel, it's so versatile and such a delightful finishing salt. Don't try to use coarse-grained sea salt in a dressing or to finish a dish since it will end up crunchy!
  • Freshly-ground pepper

Closing Thoughts

This salad is really all of my summer dreams come true. It's light and whimsical, yet also decadent. It has such a wonderful array of juicy, creamy, and crunchy textures. The colors are photo-worthy; lay it out on a big serving board for a work of salad art. Having a mix of grilled and raw stone fruits really makes it interesting and surprising.

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

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Figgy Thyme Gin Fizz


Somewhere Over The Rainbow Pasta Salad

Mint Julep Quinoa Salad

Fig, Bourbon, and Cinnamon Nicecream Cake

Grilled Stone Fruit, Goat Cheese, and Pistachio Salad

A delightfully summery mix of frilly lettuce, juicy grilled and raw stone fruit, crunchy pistachios, and creamy goat cheese, this simple salad is a stunner. Veganize it with avocado instead of goat cheese!



For the Salad

  • 1 peach
  • 2 plums
  • 3 apricots
  • 1 c cherries
  • Oil of choice for grilling
  • Large head of butter lettuce
  • Big handful of goat cheese
  • Handful of roasted and salted pistachios

For the Dressing

  • 1 tbsp robustly-flavored olive oil
  • 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Generous flaky sea salt and freshly-ground pepper


  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. 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. While the fruit cools, mix up the dressing.
  4. Arrange your lettuce and fruit on a serving platter or board, then scatter the fruit throughout the lettuce.
  5. Add goat cheese and pistachios across the top.
  6. Lightly drizzle the salad with dressing, then serve additional dressing on the side for individual portions. Finish the salad with an additional sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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July 25, 2020
Made a vegan version of this with avo. Loved by all!