We’re looking for any excuse to eat more peaches, nectarines and plums this season and we’ve found just the recipe that’ll let us binge on stone fruits in the best way possible.
Seasonally inspired FIG Restaurant in Santa Monica – known for its impeccable cocktails and in-the-know locals’ happy hour – has mixed up its menu with a new Mediterranean vibe we can’t get enough of. At a recent dinner to try out their new wood-oven-centric eats, we were so focused on this sumac spice-dusted stone fruit salad we barely left room for dessert (the horror!).
This simple dish is all about sumac – a fiery yet sweet-smelling spice made from dried berries (which give sumac its rich red color). Its sour, citrus-like taste makes sumac a flavor staple in Mediterranean recipes, and enhances the sweetness of stone fruits like magic. Try Chef Yousef Ghalaini’s dreamy recipe below or simply sprinkle a little sumac over a fresh peach and be on your way!
Sumac-Dusted Halloumi and Stone Fruit Salad
8 cups of stone fruit (nectarines, white peaches, yellow peaches, apricots and cherries) Find whatever is freshest and use that… cut your fruit in healthy chunks of different sizes and pit the cherries and use the halves.
2 cups loosely packed watercress, large stems removed (you can substitute arugula for this)
1 block of halloumi cheese (about 8 oz), sliced into large planks for grilling
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
coarse sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
1 pinch of sumac
Place prepared fruit in a mixing bowl and chill until cheese is ready.
Brush halloumi cheese with olive oil and season with cracked black pepper using a grill pan over medium heat, or an outdoor grill – you’re just looking for marks on the cheese. Let the cheese come back to room temperature and dice in bite size pieces.
Add the cheese to the mixing bowl with the fruit. Add the watercress or arugula. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl. Season with cracked black pepper. Right before you’re ready to serve, toss the salad to incorporate everything (you can keep in the fridge un-tossed until ready).
Place in a serving bowl and finish with a few dashes of the aged balsamic vinegar – add as much or as little to this depending on the sweetness or tartness of the fruit.
Garnish with the toasted pine nuts, sumac and coarse sea salt to taste (keep in mind that the cheese is relatively salty).