Stone Fruit

In the summer there is nothing better than biting into a perfectly ripe, sweet peach... or nectarine, or plum, or apricot for that matter. All year I look forward to eating as many of these fruits as I can. Miles is enjoying them too. He can easily eat a whole peach in a few minutes.

Recently I enjoyed some stone fruit in a salad featured in the latest issue of Bon Appetit as well as a dessert that I often like to make when it's hot (no oven required!).

Peach Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Plum Dressing

2 black plums
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
6 cups mixed greens
2 peaches or nectarines, halved, pitted and cut into eighths
4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
1/4 cup roasted Marcona or regular almonds

Dressing: Cut the plums in half, remove the pit and roughly chop. Place in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for 15 minutes until the plums have broken down. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the plum mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. Whisk in the vinegar, honey and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the greens on a large platter. Scatter peach slices, cheese and almonds over. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Serves 4.

Note: Dressing can be made one week ahead and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. 

Grilled Nectarines with Vanilla Ice Cream

2 nectarines or peaches
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream
Raspberries, optional
Toasted, sliced almonds, optional

Heat a grill pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cut each nectarine in half and remove the pit. Brush the cut sides with some of the butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place the nectarines cut side down on the pan and cook without moving for about 3 minutes. Then flip over and cook for one more minute on the other side. Remove from the heat.

Place one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Nestle two nectarine halves into the bowl. Sprinkle with raspberries and almonds if using.

Serves 2.

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