Wherever you buy plums, be it at a farmers’ market or the supermarket, choose ones that have deep coloring that is consistent with their variety. Plums should have a slight give when you handle them. Avoid ones that are too hard or too mushy, as well as those with soft spots or breaks in their skin. Ripe plums are aromatic, so see if you can smell their fruity perfume.
Plums are at their peak now and come in a panorama of colors, from opulent reds, purples and blacks to bright yellows and greens.
Chef Shelly Laron, who heads the creative cuisine of the organic vegetarian-vegan Meshek Barzilay bistro in Neveh Tzedek in Tel Aviv, is an expert at creating seasonal dishes, using only the freshest organic produce available.
The recipes below can be made with different kinds of plums, resulting in slightly different flavors. Try them and see which ones you like best.
STUFFED PLUMS WITH BLUE CHEESE
✔ 10 ripe plums, pitted
✔ 50 gr. blue cheese, such as Roquefort
✔ 2 Tbsp. sour cream
✔ 10 walnuts
Mix sour cream and cheese together and stuff the plums. Place ½ nut in each plum and serve.
To make variations: For a colorful tray of appetizers, use different colored plums and match them with other kinds of cheeses and nuts.
PLUM, MOZZARELLA AND ALMOND SALAD
✔ 5 large red plums, sliced
✔ 10 lettuce leaves, torn by hand
✔ Baby greens
✔ 150 gr. buffalo mozzarella, torn into small pieces
✔ 4 Tbsp. roasted sliced almonds
For the dressing:
✔ 2 Tbsp. silan
✔ 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
✔ 4 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 1 tsp. lemon juice
✔ 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Place the greens in a salad bowl. Add the mozzarella and plums and toss.
Mix together all the dressing ingredients, drizzle over the salad and toss. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve.PLUM JAM
✔ 1 kg. ripe pitted plums
✔ 700 gr. organic cane sugar
✔ 1 vanilla bean
✔ 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
✔ ½ tsp. ground black pepper
Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and remove the foam. Cook about 1 hour.
Pour into clean jars and let cool.
To check if the jam is ready, put a tablespoon of jam on a plate and extend it into a line. If the line remains a line, the jam is ready. Meshek Barzilay organic bistro is located in the heart of picturesque Neveh Tzedek. The restaurant is open six days a week and is closed on Sundays, when healthy cooking workshops are held in the kitchen. Music jam sessions are held at the bistro on Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons.
6 Ahad Ha’am Street, Tel Aviv, (03) 516- 6329. www.meshekbarzilay.co.il.
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