Ever since I spent nearly five years in the USA as a youngster (!) I have loved fruit in salads...It seems to be something they do extraordinarily well and so even after all these years I am still playing around with the idea. I LOVE mango in a green salad that sports a Thai flavored dressing. I LOVE roasted pears or nectarines or both in a salad that goes with roast pork and of course I love Waldorf, any salad with Citrus in it or the dressing, Pineapple with salty overtones, grapes with brocolli; the list goes on. Its the yin and the yang, the sweet with the salty, the straw and the berry, the apple and the pie; they just GO together!
This is no different. The cherry plums that are around just now are quite tart, so make sure you taste them before adding enough sugar to sweeten them up. I had a few beetroot rolling around in the fridge hoping to get eaten, so this is the pairing. I love the idea of fruity salads at Christmas time because somehow they seem a little more special and upmarket. SO keep this one on your list, Sugar Plum Salad, or Nutcracker Salad, if you will! I served it with Char Sui Roasted Pork and my butter sweet rolls. It was a pleasure to make and a pleasure to eat and a pleasure to realise for possibly the first time that I could head straight here and find everything I needed for the meal! (Feels good! Hmmnn, maybe I should bookmark this page...or subscribe over there in the right hand column, or even write a comment below...)
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- 450 Grams cherry plums halved (pit them later if this is too difficult now)
- A few baby beetroot, peeled and quartered
- Raw sugar to taste
- EVOO to taste
- Red wine vinegar to taste
- Celtic salt to taste
- 1 bag of baby spinach or other greens of choice
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 120 Grams roasted and skinned hazelnuts
- Shaved parmesan (please make it a good one!)
- More EVOO and red wine vinegar
- A few fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 190°C and line 2 baking trays with paper.
Halve cherry plums and prepare beetroot by peeling and cutting into bite sized pieces.
Place plums and beetroot on separate trays.
Drizzle both with EVOO, sprinkle with brown sugar and salt and then drizzle with red wine vinegar.
Place into oven and roast, plums for 20 minutes, beetroot a little longer, around 30-35 minutes.
Cool and remove plum stones.
Toss remaining salad ingredients except shaved Parmesan, with EVOO and red wine vinegar.
Arrange on plates to serve, top with roasted plums and beetroot, drizzle with the syrup that will be generated from roasting the plums and top with shaved Parmesan.