Plum (and pluot!) crazy: sweet and savory dishes

August has slipped by like, um, something slippery.  Granted, a good week and a half of this included me, convinced that I had pneumonia after Outside Lands (it was probably just a bad 10-day cold compounded with allergies), but still, it seems like my most-often-uttered phrase is WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

Now we’re nearing the end of the summer fruit season, which I personally find unacceptable.  San Francisco doesn’t really get warm until September, and somehow, eating ripe stone fruit just doesn’t feel right during a stretch of 50-degree fog.  But if you still have stone fruit left in your corner of the world, here’s what I’ve been doing with my remaining greengage plums and pluots, after the jump.

GREENGAGE VINAIGRETTE

Based on this plum vinaigrette from Bon Appetit, and served over greens, pluots, feta, and garlic chives. Perfect if your fruit is overripe and you need to use it – there’s no need to boil the fruit as in the original recipe.

  • 8-10 very ripe greengage plums, pitted (or 2-3 peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots)
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 4-5 tsp red wine vinegar, depending on how tart you want the dressing to be
  • salt & pepper

Puree the greengages in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Using a fine mesh strainer and a bowl, strain as much juice from the pulp as possible by pressing on the pulp with the back of a spoon.  (I added in a spoonful of pulp in the pictured batch for a bit of texture, but if you want a slightly smoother dressing, skip this.)  Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

STONE FRUIT TART

Using this recipe from Always With Butter (great name!), I used homegrown greengages, black plums, and apricots to make an almond-cream tart, dusted with confectioner’s sugar.  The sweet, creamy almond flavor perfectly complemented the sweet and tart fruit.

PAN-FRIED PORK WITH BASIL PLUOTS, BALSAMIC VINEGAR REDUCTION, AND BEURRE BLANC

I don’t know what got into me the other day, but instead of making an heirloom tomato tart, I decided I was going to use up our pork and pluots instead.  (The picture isn’t great because I was hungry and impatient.)  This recipe is far less complicated than it looks – the pluots and the balsamic vinegar reduction can be prepared well in advance.  The beurre blanc should be prepared just before the pork and kept warm during the ten minutes that it takes to pan-fry the pork and let it rest.

Adam told me it was good, so I am not alone in thinking the tart/sweet reduction was a nice combination against the creamy beurre blanc and juicy pluots.

Serves 4.

PLUOTS

  • 3-5 medium pluots (I used 3 varieties)
  • 10 leaves basil, chiffonaded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Dice pluots and chiffonade the basil.  Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

BALSAMIC BROWN SUGAR REDUCTION – halve and follow this recipe.  (I used 3/4 c balsamic and 1/4 c brown sugar.)  Set aside.  If the reduction gets too sticky, warm in the microwave for 20-30 seconds just before drizzling.

BEURRE BLANC – halve and follow this recipe just before preparing the pork.  Keep warm with foil over the pan.

PORK

  • 3-4 thick pork chops (about a pound), sliced lengthwise to 1/2″ thick
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Minced fresh parsley

Pat dry and season the pork chops with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a pan, preferably cast iron, until the oil is shimmering but not smoking.  Cook the chops for 2 minutes per side, remove from pan, and let rest on a plate with foil covering them for 5 minutes.

To serve, put two chops on the plate.  Heap pluots next to pork, spoon beurre blanc alongside the pork and pluots, and drizzle balsamic reduction on the plate.  Sprinkle parsley over.

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