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Grilled Summer Stone Fruit Salad

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

If the title intrigued you enough to read on, I hope to inspire you enough to get your hands on all the summer stone fruit you can find, and grill it.  In short, its practically impossible to overstate the culinary merits of grilling peaches, plums and nectarines when they’re fresh and abundant.

Whether tossed into a savory salad with arugula and walnuts or added to a warm dish of couscous and feta, there are too many options to list.  Serve them warm, serve them cold, pair with veggies; cooked or raw; eat with cheeses, vegan or dairy; mix with grains, whole or baked, or simply enjoy them warm off the grill (possibly atop a frozen treat).

The simple act of grilling thick juicy slices of fruit imparts a subtle smokiness as it caramelizes the natural sugar and intensifies the flavor, no marinating required.

Here are some suggestions for fruit grilling success:

  • When choosing fruit, go for firm before soft, as in not rock hard, but solid enough to hold their shape in the face of a gentle squeeze.
  • Be sure to give your grill a good scrape before you use it to avoid any residue from foods past.
  • Grill on low to medium heat (by grill standards, of course), charring is not encouraged, light grill marks just right.
  • If you’re not all that grill-savvy, try a grill pan on the stove for a next-best alternative.

Now, for a simple serving suggestion, try this delicious recipe, or make up one of your own!

Grilled Summer Stone Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large or 4-6 small peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots
  • 4 cups arugula leaves
  • 6-8 green onions
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice ( a teaspoon or so)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Turn your (clean) grill to medium heat, and swipe is with a hint of coconut oil to prevent sticking. Sprinkle the green onions with lemon juice and salt. Once the grill is heated to temperature, place the onions on the least hot part and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes on each side (I know they’re round, so assuming 2 sides total). Remove and set aside. Cut stone fruit in half and remove the pit, then slice it into 1” thick round pieces.

Add to the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until you see grill marks, then remove and set aside.

Add the arugula to a large bowl, leaves can stay whole if small, or cut/tear into bite-sized pieces if not. When onions and fruit are cool enough to handle, chop the onions into ¼” rounds and add to arugula. Chop fruit into 1” chunks and add to the salad.

Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix.  Serve right away.

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