Salad and fruit may not come to mind as the most natural pairing, but the sweetness of the stone fruits right now and a bit of salty cheese and a naturally sweet dressing is truly an ideal summer salad.  You can use any stone fruit that appeals to you personally – just be sure that it is beautifully ripe. For this salad, I used apricot, nectarine, cherries, apriums (cross between a plum and apricot), figs and blueberries.  I added some small tomatoes and toasted pine nuts as well.  The roasted shallot dressing is a delicious, light and sweet dressing that has a nice tanginess to it.  Roasting the shallots helps them caramelize and renders these mild onions into a perfect summer dressing with the salad and fruit.

Serves 6 as side salad


for salad:

  • 8 oz mixed greens of choice
  • 1 small head radicchio, leaves torn
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce or Boston lettuce leaves, torn
  • 2 apricots, pitted and segmented
  • 2 plums, pitted and segmented
  • 2 nectarines, pitted and segmented
  • 5 figs, halved
  • 10 -12 cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup torn parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

for dressing:

  • 2 large shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 clove peeled garlic
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grey poupon dijonnaise (or favorite mild dijon mustard)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Alessi White balsamic vinegar glaze
  • juice of one lemon
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
for dressing:  Preheat oven to 350.  Toss shallots in  1/4 cup of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.  Place shallots in a small piece of foil with edges upturned, and place on a baking sheet.  Roast the shallots and garlic in oven for about 45 minutes until golden and quite tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  In a blender or food processor, process shallot mixture including roasting oil, mustard, honey, vinegar and lemon juice until smooth.  In a steady stream, add remainder of olive oil to emulsify.  Stir in parsley and adjust seasonings to taste.
prepare salad:  In a large platterarrange greens and lettuce in a large platter and place fruit on top.  Top with feta, pine nuts and parsley leaves.  Drizzle dressing evenly over salad and gently toss adjusting seasonings as needed.  Serve immediately and enjoy!