Plums: From sweet to tart, plums are big part of summer fruit in the Pacific Northwest. While great fresh as it or atop yogurt, fruit salads and even green salads (think walnuts, soft goat cheese and arugula), plums also shine when cooked as a sauce along with chicken, pork or duck. Care: Eat ripe plums immediately or put them in the refrigerator (unwashed, not in a sealed bag) for use within five days. When ready to eat, wash and enjoy! To hasten the ripening, leave plums on the counter, out of the sun, in a paper bag with an already-ripe apple or banana. Check daily. Plums are ripe when stem area yields to gentle pressure or is slightly fragrant.
Garlic Scapes: Garlic scapes are the beginning of what would be the garlic plant’s flower; if they’re left on the garlic plant, less energy goes towards developing the head of garlic underground. So, by harvesting these scapes, we get an early taste of the garlic to come down the road, and the bulbs can keep developing for a later harvest.
You can use scapes just like you would garlic; their flavor is milder, so you get the nice garlic taste without some of the bite. Use them on top of pizza, in pasta, in salsas, and as a replacement for garlic in most other recipes.
Featured Recipe: Plum-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Plums boost the tangy-sweet flavor of this quick homemade barbecue sauce, which is finger-lickin’ good on grilled chicken, pork (ribs, especially), and duck. Wait until the meat is almost cooked before brushing on the sauce, so it doesn’t burn. Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s inside your barbeque sauce. It’s a win-win. Makes 1 cup.
1 lb. firm-ripe plums (about 4 medium), pitted and quartered
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced seeded canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- Put all of the ingredients in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the plums break down, about 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until thick, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Purée the sauce in a blender until smooth. Use or cool to room temperature and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Recipe adapted from finecoooking.com