The Stone Fruit Salad Giada De Laurentiis Associates With Pure Summer

Nothing screams summer like a fresh, ripe, in-season stone fruit. Plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines — whatever pitted pleasure you put at the top of your stone fruit power ranking, biting into these sweet, juicy treats is one of the pure joys of summer. There are so many unique ways to enjoy them, too, including in a fresh, seasonal salad.

If you're a stone fruit lover, Giada De Laurentiis may have just the recipe you've been looking for that mixes the sweetness with herbs and some fresh dairy. The chef took to Instagram to share what she calls her "definition of summer," highlighting peaches and cherries as the real stars of the dish.

De Laurentiis' creation first marinates the fruit in a summery blend of oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs. Then, it's finished with some creamy burrata and crispy bread. With only a few ingredients, this recipe from the celebrated chef is so easy to make and incredibly tasty, the perfect combination for any weeknight or a summer party.

How to make Giada De Laurentiis' stone fruit salad

Giada De Laurentiis's Peach and Cherry Salad with Burrata is fairly simple to make — you'll just need to allow some time for the fruit to marinate so it soaks up the savory flavors. First, combine the peaches and cherries (wedged or sliced, however you prefer them) with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh mint, and a bit of salt. De Laurentiis also adds some crushed red pepper flakes for a little extra kick.

Let all of that goodness marinate for 30 minutes to two hours in the fridge, and once ready, it's just a matter of assembling everything and serving. De Laurentiis spoons the fruit mixture onto a platter and tops it with freshly torn pieces of burrata along with some additional mint leaves for garnish. She finishes it off with another drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, followed by flaky sea salt, and then serves it all up with warm, grilled bread.

The beauty of this salad is that you can sub in any stone fruit you like, so feel free to use your favorites or whatever is available and freshest at the market at that time.

When stone fruits are in season

Stone fruits, which are also called drupes, are a seasonal food; there's a particular window of the year to enjoy them at their freshest and tastiest, and it typically falls from late spring to early fall — meaning, the peak for most stone fruits are those few precious summer months.

While many of them are picked and then further ripened after harvest, stone fruits are first pulled off the vine when they reach peak ripeness, which limits their seasonal availability. The best chance to find stone fruits in grocery stores and farmers markets is from around May to October, but for most varieties, the best time to buy and eat them is from June to September.

Harvest and seasonality will vary slightly from fruit to fruit, especially depending on where you live, so some will be available outside of this June to September window. For example, in California, stone fruits like apricots, plums, and cherries will appear earlier and stay in season longer. Peaches tend to have the longest season and overall availability throughout the U.S. Apricots are usually best before July, and cherries tend to have the shortest seasonal availability — typically only available at their freshest for around two months.