Faced with a pile of ripe stone fruits, it’s natural to think of desserts like cobblers and crisps. But we also love using peaches and apricots in savory applications like salsas and salads, as well as throwing them on the grill alongside meat, giving a sweet summer twist to dinner.
So if you have backyard trees heavy with more fruit than you know what to do with, just received a jam-packed CSA delivery, or got a bit carried away at the farmers market, here are some unexpected savory stone fruit recipes to try.
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Sweet-tart plums make amazing preserves, especially when you add a little spice. This is divine with cheese and crackers, used as a glaze for roasted carrots, or served as a condiment with pork or chicken. You can store it in the fridge for a couple weeks, or can it to make it shelf-stable for up to a year or longer. Get our Spicy Plum Chutney recipe.
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A quicker way to deal with a glut of plums is to turn them into a simple sauce for pork chops, tenderloin, or grilled chicken—or even tofu. Whatever protein you use, a five spice powder rub is a wonderful contrast to the fruity topping. Get our Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Plum Sauce recipe.
You know plums pair perfectly with pork, so the sausages aren’t that surprising, but you can also add potatoes to the roasting pan; everything gets sticky, caramelized, and deeply delicious. Get the Sticky Sweet-and-Sour Plums and Sausages recipe.
Tomato gazpacho is already super summery, but make this chilled soup from ripe peaches for a change. It’s an uncommonly delicious treat that works for lunch, or as an elegant supper starter. Get Daniel Humm’s Peach Gazpacho with Toasted Almonds recipe.
Grilled fruit can go sweet or savory, and it can be as simple as skewering fat chunks of peaches, nectarines, or apricots and charring them to slide onto the plate beside any grilled main. Here, we pair the peaches with chicken sausages and fragrant fresh sage, but use the same method to make your own ideal dinner. Get our Grilled Chicken Sausages with Grilled Peach Sage Skewers recipe.
Slices of ripe, juicy peaches are equally perfect served raw with creamy cheese (a good fresh mozzarella, or burrata for extra decadence). Try combining them on a simple grilled pizza, a slice of crusty bruschetta, or just tossed with basil and a white balsamic dressing for an easy lunch or light dinner, as in this dish from Joanna Gaines’ “Magnolia Table” cookbook. Get the Peach Caprese Salad recipe.
Raw peaches (or any other stone fruit) also shine in salsa, which you can scoop up with chips, spoon onto a taco or quesadilla, or use to garnish grilled chicken, shrimp, or other seafood. Get our Grilled Buttermilk Chicken with Peach-Tomato Salsa recipe.
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Fresh apricots lend a tangy note to the savory sauce in this Baked Apricot Chicken recipe, but if you don’t want to turn on the oven, feel free to grill the chicken instead. (And try adding grilled apricots to complement the preserves in our Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Apricot Glaze recipe; see below for a template.)
Nectarines, which are essentially fuzz-free peaches, go into the fruity BBQ sauce here, but you should also grill halved fruit to join the sticky chicken pieces on the plate. Get our Grilled Chicken with Nectarine BBQ Sauce recipe.
Spicy arugula and bitter frisee offset by sweet fruit is a winning combo. Toasted hazelnuts give this just a touch of fall, and the sharp, simple vinaigrette binds it all together. Get our Baby Arugula Salad with Nectarines recipe.
Summer’s earliest stone fruit, cherries aren’t just for the classic lattice-topped pie. They make a phenomenal fresh fruit relish combined with a little chile heat and complex balsamic vinegar. This mix classes up a hot dog like nothing else, but you can use it over any grilled or roasted meat. Get our Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs with Spicy Cherry Relish recipe.
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If you like a little booze with your fruit, fresh cherries cooked down with balsamic vinegar and ruby port pair particularly well with pork, especially when it has a piquant rub (this one uses ground mustard and coriander). Get our Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce recipe.
Fresh cherries slipped into a pressed sandwich make a big impact, but the smoked duck and sweet blue cheese hold their own. Get our Smoked Duck and Cherry Pressed Sandwich recipe.
One way to preserve fruit besides jam and jelly: Turn it into hot sauce. This smoked fresh cherry hot sauce is simple but stupendous. Apply lashings of it to everything from steaks to burritos, or mix some with yogurt for a simple veggie dip. Get our Smoked Cherry Hot Sauce recipe.
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