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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Red Plum Sauce

The plums at my local farmers’ market are like candy: sweet and fruity, with a surprise center. Taking a big, juicy bite reveals flesh of an amazing red. It’s like no other color: ruby red, translucent, with a touch of purple.

Fresh, ripe plums are perfect just as they are. But if you want to make something with them, consider this simple sauce. It has a flavor so complex – sweet and sour and spicy – that you would never guess it contains only three ingredients.

Serve this plum sauce with halibut, duck, pork, turkey, grilled tofu triangles, or sautéed tempeh strips. Or drizzle it over dessert: whole milk yogurt, fruit kebobs, or poached pears.

If you have any sauce leftover, whisk in some extra virgin olive oil and brown rice vinegar to make a plum vinaigrette.

- 2 generous cups quartered, pitted red plums, skin intact (about 6 medium plums)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Puree all ingredients until smooth. Taste for seasoning and if necessary, add additional maple syrup or ginger, or a pinch of salt (optional).

If you have superior plums, stop here and serve a raw sauce. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

If your plums are past their prime, cook the sauce a bit. Warm the plum puree over low heat until the mixture starts to simmer, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook it for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it has reached favorable flavor and consistency. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for future use, hot or cold.

Yield: 1½ cups

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