Time for plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines and other gorgeous stone fruits

Stone fruit season means nectarines, plums and peaches

I like stone fruits just the way they are. Sure, I might twist open a jar of peach compote at breakfast, and I’ll never turn down a warm slice of buttery plum cake that was cooked on the grill, but at the height of summer, when stone fruits are sweet and ripe and perfect, what I like best is to sit around with a small knife and eat them raw.

Food editor Andy Baraghani is from northern California, Berkeley to be precise, and he has a similar keep-it-super-simple approach to stone fruits. That’s why I love his halibut and nectarine salad (see the recipe).

Instead of playing up the sugar in white and yellow nectarines, he celebrates the acidity and floral character of the ripe fruits, bringing them to life with lime juice and olive oil.



The nectarines are thinly sliced, layered over pounded halibut that’s been smeared with the tiniest bit of yuzu kosho, a peppery, mouth-tingling Japanese condiment of fermented yuzu and chiles that makes everything else taste a little more intense, too.

It’s the kind of dish you can throw together quickly, but like a traditional beef carpaccio, it looks quite fancy when it’s plated, what with all the see-through slivers of breakfast radishes and long chives. Andy’s salad is ideal for a light summer meal, say a quiet lunch on your day off, or as a first course to kick off a dinner party. You could go big and make a dramatic platter, just chill the plate first so things don’t warm up.

What I really love is that the fish and fruit are both raw, so you get to enjoy them just the way they are. It almost doesn’t count as cooking.

Fuzzy peaches, tart plums and sweet nectarines: These magical fruits have always been my favorite. But they require a special kind of patience, seeing as these fruits peak for a short time during the hottest months of the year.

That’s why, when they’re in season, I don’t mess around with them too much. For this simple recipe, I made a halibut carpaccio with shaved yellow and white nectarines, letting both ingredients really shine.

I made sure the nectarines weren’t too soft, so I could shave them easily on a mandoline. And the secret ingredient that really brings the dish together? A Japanese seasoning paste called yuzu kosho, made with spicy green chiles and peels from the yuzu citrus fruit.

The paste adds a little heat and tartness, but doesn’t overpower the ripe, delicious fruit and fresh seafood.

Halibut Carpaccio with Nectarines, Radish and Lime

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 20 minutes


1 8-ounce sushi-grade halibut filet, cut to ½-inch thickness

1 teaspoon yuzu kosho

1 yellow nectarine, halved, thinly sliced (preferably on a mandoline)

1 white nectarine, halved and thinly sliced (preferably on a mandoline)

4 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced

½ cup loosely packed cilantro

1 tablespoon chives, sliced into ½-inch batons

Juice from 2 limes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS1. Cut the halibut into four equal portions. Place one piece of halibut in between two pieces of parchment paper and pound into ⅛-inch thickness. Remove the top parchment paper and invert onto a chilled plate. Repeat with the remaining pieces of halibut. Once all of the pieces are pounded flat, use a paring knife to swipe the yuzu kosho on top of the fish.2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the nectarines, radishes, cilantro, chives, lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and divide among the halibut pieces. Serve.

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