Summer Fruit Salad

stone fruit

For a girl who has never been much of a fruit eater, it’s a bit shocking to look back at the amount of it I’ve tucked away over the last week. What it boils down to, I suppose, is how much better real, farm-fresh fruit tastes than stuff that has traveled from another continent. Though this salad originally appeared in my Weekend Eats wrap-up, it was such a hit with us that I wanted to post about it here for this week’s edition of Summer Fest 2009.

summerfest-badge-300x277

Since I still prefer savory to sweet, it has been fun to find ways to incorporate gorgeous summer fruit into our meals. Breakfast lately has been a scoop of creamy ricotta with berries or stone fruit or both, and salads have gotten fruity, too, with peach and basil bread salad getting fairly heavy rotation. But my favorite fruit-filled salad has to be the one I made over the weekend, inspired by Suzanne Goin’s Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula and Marcona Almonds from Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

figs + berries

It’s a simple salad, a combination of (not local to us) figs, (definitely local) stone fruit and berries, peppery arugula, and crunchy Marcona almonds, but the dressing was perhaps my favorite part of the dish. It’s a simple vinaigrette, given richness and body with the addition of a bit of muddled fruit. To make it, I took the softest, ripest fig we had purchased, chopped it up and used Mike’s wooden cocktail muddler to pound it to a chunky puree, then I whisked it together with a pinch of salt, some of my quick-pickled shallots (chopped), sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

summer fruit salad

The dressing had a great sweet and sour flavor that married extremely well with our juicy plums and peaches, the tart black raspberries and blueberries, and the salt and pepper punch of the almonds and greens – this, to me, is exactly what a fruit salad should be.

8 thoughts on “Summer Fruit Salad

  1. I live in NYC like you guys used to (Manhattan Upper East Side born and raised for 30 years now) and following you guy through the NYC phase of the blog to now has so inspired me (I know I’ve said this before.) But I’m seriously mulling the idea of moving to a cultured Northeastern town and opening a seasonal cocktail bar (speakeasy type using local ingredients for cocktails thyme syrups, peach smashes, cranberry bitters etc) rotating ethnic sandwiches on a monthly basis (banh mi one month, mantao one month, tortas one month, bocadillos one month etc) thank you for helping me dream!!!!

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    akaellen – It was so good, such a great combination of flavors and textures.

    Max – we love New York, but as you can tell we’ve really fallen hard for Providence! Hopefully the cocktail scene here will catch up to NYC and BOS soon.

    Cristina – Thank you!

    Hillary – It really was a substantial salad, and I think you could definitely make a meal of it!

    angela – I would be heartbroken if I couldn’t eat figs. I don’t have them often, but they are so heavenly.

  3. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE fresh figs, and we grow them on the patio in NJ.
    I am not a fruit eater either, but this summer, the produce has been so lovely in The Garden State, that I have made so many fruit desserts and even taken a bite out of a peach! Look out!
    My weekly salad is fig salad w/ arugula and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano with a fig vinaigrette.
    I wish summer would never end!
    Great pics of the food festival.

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