This Apricot Salad with Arugula and Feta is full of tangy, bright stone fruit, heart-healthy nuts and salty cheese—one of the best salads to customize for picky palates.
Another sure sign that summer has arrived is the abundance of gorgeous stone fruit that you find in your supermarket and greengrocer. Stone fruits are so-called because the seed inside them is very large and hard.
We take advantage of summer's bounty and make this gorgeous Apricot Salad, peppery rocket and feta, ideal for weekday dinners or girly lunches.
If you are searching for a salad with different stone fruit, then you could try our Peach Salad with Mozzarella or our Summer Brie Salad with Cherries and Macadamias.
❤️ What do I love about this Apricot Salad? ❤️
The incredible salty, sweet, peppery fusion of flavours!
The oh-so-sweet sun-filled apricots, the tangy, salty feta tossed
with peppery arugula, all topped with sticky balsamic,
it pretty much covers all five of the basic tastes.
Let's Talk Ingredients!
- Apricots - the star of the show, but with so many great stone fruits around at the moment, you can really just pick any of your favourites - peaches, white peaches, nectarines, white nectarines, or plums.
- Rocket/Arugula - used to bulk up the salad and for some peppery flavour. Swap for baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens.
- Feta - added for its tangy saltiness, try some crumbled goat's cheese or grated halloumi or queso fresco/Blanco or paneer instead.
- Almonds - added for some crunch, swap for any of your nutty favourites such as walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans. If you want a nut-free option, replace it with pepitas or sunflower seeds instead.
- Balsamic glaze - provides a wonderful sticky sweetness to our apricot salad and ties everything together; as a replacement, try four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1-2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup.
🍑🍑 Did you know?? 🍑🍑
The deeper the colour of an apricot, the higher its beta-carotene content, which gets converted to vitamin A needed for good vision.
You Will Need
Variations - change it up for everyone to love!
The beauty of this apricot salad is that it is oh-so versatile and can be easily adapted for everyone to enjoy.
- Don’t like apricots – swap them for any stone fruit that takes your fancy, such as nectarines, peaches, plums or even cherries.
- Can’t stand peppery rocket, use any leafy greens that you prefer, such as baby spinach, any lettuce mix or even massaged kale are all great substitutions.
- If you are not a fan of feta, try some goats cheese, creamy burrata or fresh mozzarella
- Have a nut allergy change the almonds for seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin or linseeds.
- Don’t like almonds try some other nuts, such as roasted hazelnuts, creamy macadamias or buttery pecans instead.
- If you are looking for something more substantial, add some dressed lentils or cooked quinoa.
- For a vegan or paleo option, swap the feta for a creamy and delicious avocado.
- If you are a die-hard carnivore, then add some shredded beef or pork.
- Transform it into an apricot chicken salad by simply adding some shredded or grilled chicken for a light lunch or dinner.
How to Make this Salad
Step 1 - Roast the Almonds
Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
Line a baking tray with baking paper and arrange your nuts on top so they spread out evenly and are not touching too closely.
Place the tray with the nuts in the middle of your oven (for even heat distribution) and roast for 8-10 minutes.
Stir them occasionally so that they brown evenly; your nuts should be golden brown and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and transfer immediately to a cold plate to stop the cooking process; you'd be surprised how quickly they can go from golden to charcoal!
Step 2 - Prepare Ingredients
While your almonds are happily roasting away, you can wash your rocket, remove any damaged or wilted leaves, and then either pat dry or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Wash your apricots and pat dry; cut in half to remove the stone and cut into quarters. I have some step-by-step instructions on how to cut stone fruits in my White Peach Salad post.
Step 3 - Assemble the Salad
Place your rocket leaves, apricot quarters, and crumbled feta in a large mixing bowl, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and add the olive oil.
Toss your salad gently until the leaves are well coated with the oil and the almonds, feta and apricots are evenly distributed throughout.
Arrange in a salad bowl, and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top. Serve and enjoy!
For something a little bit different, try chargrilling your apricots on a barbecue or grill pan before adding them to your salad.
This refreshing little apricot salad makes a perfect starter as a prelude to a dinner party or is wonderful with some grilled chicken for a light lunch.
Serve it with a perfectly roasted chicken or a crisply roasted pork belly done on your barbecue to take the heat out of the kitchen.
Common Questions (FAQs) & Tips
Ideally, shop for them when they are in season:
Australia = between November through February
USA Northern Hemisphere = between mid-May through mid-August.
USA Southern Hemisphere = between November through January.
UK = between May through September.
Avoid imported apricots as they will generally be either over or under-ripe.
Colour - look for orange-gold in coloured skins with some redness. Avoid the pale yellow or greenish-yellow ones, as they are not ripe.
Skin - should be blemish-free and smooth; avoid wrinkled ones as they are likely old and overripe.
Firmness - ripe apricots should be firm to the touch but give slightly when gently squeezed. Hard apricots can ripen so long as they are not greenish. Soft, squishy apricots should also be avoided as they are overripe.
I love this salad with sweet, juicy fresh apricots, but at a pinch, you could swap for dry apricots; I would probably soften them by soaking them in water or brandy for an added kick.
Roast your almonds up to a week in advance, allow them to cool, and then store them in an airtight container in a dark part of your pantry.
You can wash and dry the rocket/arugula for this salad and keep it covered in the fridge. Make sure that the leaves are completely dry to prevent bacteria from forming.
The apricots can also be prepared a day ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Crumble your feta and keep it covered in the fridge.
Just before serving, toss everything together with the oil and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top.
Store the leftover apricot salad covered in the fridge for a day or two at the most, as the rocket will become soggy.
Still tasty the next day, albeit a bit limp, I like to add some shredded chicken, turkey or flaked salmon to bulk it up for a light lunch.
The leftovers are also great as a topping for a feta filo tart.
This salad is suitable for vegetarians and is gluten-free.
You can replace the feta with cashew feta cheese to make it vegan, paleo and whole 30 compliant.
Each serving of this salad has 267 kcals and 11 grams of net carbs (calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate).
Try some more of our savoury salads with fruit...
- 1 Salad Spinner
- 4 cups baby rocket (approximately 80 grams or 2.2 ounces)
- 6 small apricots (approximately 380 grams or 13.5 ounces)
- ½ cup crumbled feta (approximately 60 grams or 2.10 ounces)
- ¼ cup almonds, roasted
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Arrange your nuts on a lined baking tray and place in the middle of your oven and roast for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove and transfer to a cool plate.
- Wash your rocket/arugula and remove any damaged or wilted leaves, either pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
- Wash your apricots and pat dry, cut in half remove the stone and then cut into quarters.
- Place everything (except the balsamic glaze) in a large mixing bowl, season and toss well to combine.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top. Serve and enjoy!
- To make your own Balsamic Glaze.
This recipe reminds me of my all round favorite salad, and the only salad I can easily too much of! Its similarly tasting ingredients. Instead of apricots it has lots of green grapes, instead of rocket it has spinach and romaine hearts, roasted peanuts instead of almonds, mozzarella instead of feta, with organic cold pressed olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar, and if I’ve skipped a meal and I’m extra hungry, I’ll add a small amount of rotini pasta. It’s such a refreshingly tangy meal that’s surprisingly filling. I can’t wait to try this recipe, thank you!