Stone Fruit Cucumber Salad with Ricotta Salata, Purslane, and Golden Balsamic Miso Vinaigrette
This recipe was inspired by one I ate at Piccino restaurant in San Francisco. Salads are quite forgiving, so feel free to switch up the ingredients or ratios here if you like. Fresh mozzarella or feta could stand in for the ricotta salata; figs, grapes, or melon could take the place of stonefruit as we transition into fall; arugula, mizuna, and endive work just as well as purslane. If you don’t have golden balsamic on hand, try apple cider or champagne vinegar mixed with a bit of honey. Miso helps the dressing emulsify and adds a touch of umami, but when I’m in a hurry, I simply sprinkle on a bit of vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
Servings: 2 large or 4 smaller servings
- 1 teaspoon light (white or yellow) miso
- 2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 small cucumbers (lemon, Persian, a handful of tiny cucumelons, or a combination)
- 2 cups lightly packed purslane (or arugula, mizuna, or other greens)
- 2 medium, firm-ripe peaches or nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
- 2 medium, firm-ripe plums or pluots, pitted and thinly sliced
- 2 ounces ricotta salata, thinly sliced
- flaky salt
- cracked black pepper
Make the vinaigrette:
In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, mash the miso with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar to make a smooth paste. Stir in the remaining tablespoon vinegar and the salt. Add the olive oil, place the lid tightly on the jar, and shake vigorously until combined; the miso will help the olive oil emulsify. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Make the salad:
In a large bowl or platter, combine the cucumbers, greens, and stone fruit. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss gently (I prefer to use my hands so as not to damage the delicate fruit) to combine. Gently toss in the cheese and a few big pinches flaky salt and pepper. Taste for balance, adding more vinaigrette, salt, or pepper if you like. Serve right away or cover and chill for up to an hour or two.