Kick Off Stone Fruit Season With Nectarine Carpaccio

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

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.