(Serves 5, at 3 plum halves per person)
One of my favorite summertime experiences is how, over the course of a few months, green, firm plum globes swell into dark purple fruits. Every year the miracle of growth hits me when from what was once barren branches, then cascading flowers, then green leaves, then tiny knobs of fruit, finally such tender, yeast-dusted treasures expand out into hot summer air.
This recipe captures ripe plums’ perfect balance of sweetness and acidity in an elegant and simple manner. The mouth-coating quality of coconut oil contrasts with the acidity that gets accentuated by balsamic vinegar’s kiss, and the sage slowly infuses the plums with its warm herbaceous lift.
Sage-Roasted Plums can be paired with a variety of proteins such roasted or grilled pork, duck, or chicken. You can also make this dish as a compliment to any seasonal vegetarian meal. If you cannot locate Santa Rosa plums, another variety should work as well, but the Santa Rosas have such a powerful depth of flavor and balance that I prefer to use them. This is one of the most straightforward and easy dishes to prepare, but the complex and leg-kicking flavor will stay in your mind for weeks after dining on these gems.
8 Santa Rosa plums (or a similar, purple/red skinned plum)
16 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash and cut the plums in half. Cut out the pits with a sharp pairing knife.
3. Place the plum halves skin side down and flesh side up in a large baking dish or sheet tray.
4. Distribute the coconut oil and balsamic evenly on the pit dimple of each plum half.
5. Place one sage leaf on each plum half.
6. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each plum.
7. Place the plums in the oven for about 15 minutes
8. After 15 minutes, pull the plums from the oven and place them aside to set for about 3 minutes before serving. You can set aside the plums to serve later or to have as a snack by carefully placing them in a storage container and holding them in the refrigerator for a few days (no more than 2 days).