One of the things I most look forward to in the summer is stone fruit! Basketfuls start popping up everywhere at roadside stands and markets, and I always want to pull over when I see one.
In case you don't know, stone fruit is fruit that has a big "stone" or pit inside. Some think this is the seed, but the seed is actually inside the pit. Examples are peaches, nectarines, plums, lychees, mangoes, and cherries. Stone fruit is delicious eaten out of hand, topped on oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or brown rice for breakfast, and in salads.
This Peachy Quinoa Salad is bursting with juicy flavor from both peaches and nectarines.
Peaches originated from China, where they are a symbol of good luck, longevity, and protection. Indeed, they have many health-promoting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Not only that but in Hungary, the peach is called the "fruit of calmness" and is even believed to help reduce anxiety.
Did you know that peaches can have different types of flesh??
Clingstone peaches have flesh clings to the pit, making it messy to deal with, while freestone peaches have flesh that separates easily from the pit, making them easier to eat or prepare.
Both types can be found as white or yellow peaches. The white flesh varieties are sweeter than others with no bitterness. Yellow flesh peaches are also very sweet but have a more bittersweet taste.
To choose ripe peaches, look for skin that has gold to yellow under-color. The amount of red does not indicate ripeness. Peaches should feel soft and give slightly when lightly squeezed.
We also have nectarines in the salad, but they're really just another type of peach! Specifically, nectarines are a variety with smooth skin instead of the fuzzy, velvety skin of other peaches. In regards to the flavor though, they're nearly identical in taste and texture.
The other star player is quinoa, making this salad complete, as it provides a sense of satiety, lasting energy, and is a plant-based source of complete protein. This "pseudo" grain is gluten-free to boot!
This salad is as tasty as it is beautiful with a harmony of flavor—which is what makes a salad craveable in my book.
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below. Will this be one of your go-to salads this summer?
By Chef Katie Mae
Makes 4 servings | Ready in 8 minutes | Stores 3 days in fridge (without nuts)