By Brianne Dela Cruz; Illume Co.
When the colors of your meal match the colors of the season you know you’re eating well. The transition between late summer and early fall is a magical time of year in nature.
It’s a time when we fill our bellies with fresh food from the orchards and gardens, all while enjoying the symphony of changing colors amid cooler temperatures. Golden rays dapple through fading leaves and dress late summer crops that linger on the vine with a little extra sunshine.
These fleeting seasonal moments are the inspiration for this rich, yet balanced salad.
The sweet peaches, plums, and plumcots once lathered in balsamic vinegar and grilled over open flame take on a tender, meaty texture. They are warm, sweet, juicy, and slightly charred.
Paired with sharp goat cheese, tangy golden vinaigrette, and layered on a bed of fresh arugula and crunchy cucumbers, this salad becomes an echo of the colors and flavors we enjoy when warm summer nights fade into crisp autumn evenings. The contrast in these seasonally-available ingredients make it the perfect dish to send off summer and welcome Autumn.
Enjoy this salad while you can; the opportunity passes quickly.
Balsamic Grilled Stone Fruit Salad
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 25 min
1 Long English Cucumber
- 2 Firm Peaches
- 2 Firm Plums
- 2 Firm Plumcots
- 3.5 oz. Goat Cheese
- 5 Cups Arugula
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Tangy Golden Vinaigrette Ingredients
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- Salt & Pepper
- Heat 15 coals in the fire pit. When coals are mostly white, place the griddle on the grate over the fire to preheat.
- While coals are heating, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, dijon, honey, and salt & pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
- Slice stone fruits into quarters and remove pits.
- Slice cucumbers thinly.
- Add 2 Tbsp of butter and 3 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar to the hot griddle.
- Place fruits face down in the griddle. Roast for 10 minutes total, flipping to roast each side evenly every few minutes. The balsamic will start to bubble and reduce into a glaze. When flipping, coat each side of fruit with the balsamic glaze.
- While the fruits are grilling, prepare a bed of arugula, ½ inch thick, on a large plate or platter.
- When fruits are tender and roasted, layer salad bed with cucumber coins and grilled fruit.
- Crumble goat cheese over top.
- Drizzle golden vinaigrette dressing over salad and serve immediately.
Brianne Dela Cruz is a Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Master Gardener, and Naturalist. Her blog ILLUME CO. is "A journal devoted to slow & sustainable living, connecting to nature, and travel - to being present and elevating the everyday mundane. It’s about exploring the planet and caring for Her. It’s about tending the earth and cultivating awareness. Most of all, it’s about finding the beauty within the imperfections, embracing each season of life, and allowing our inner light to shine bright."