Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Perfect Pairing: Plum - Mozarella - Rocket - Fig Balsalmic

(or you could use arugula instead)

how to make recipe for a plum mozarella rocket or roquette or arugula salad with balsalmic vinegar

I tried to turn my back the other way and not notice when the numbers and quality of heirloom tomatoes started to dwindle at the market a few weeks ago. We ate our last favourite salad of the season without ceremony, probably not even aware that there would be no more Tricolore to indulge in for almost another year. My loyalty to the heirloom does not run too deep. I have no qualms simply switching allegiance to the intense, sweet Early Girls who make a bold Autumnal entrance on the Market boards after patiently waiting in the wings as the heirlooms take their bow.

But I kind of do miss that mozzarella mix, thing. It doesn't seem quite right to me with the Early Girls so I do other delicious things with them instead. A few weeks ago, something caught my eye on my mum's blog. She'd made a mozarella salad with plums, rocket (arugula to you) and a dribble of balsalmic for her retirement party. Last weekend I volunteered to help a friend having a wine & cocktail party by catering some canapes for him. I took the salad idea (which, by the way, my mum had pilfered from my sister's sister-in-law, Fiona, in Ireland) and adapted it to make some elegant finger food. Half a plum meets half a bocconcini and they are entwined together with a rocket leaf before a cocktail stick pierces their hearts together, forever. Arrange on a plate and dribble with balsalmic, reduced or not according to your personal preference. I used a local fig balsalmic which worked a treat.

Forcing all the ingredients into one little bite-sized bundle ensures that you get the full gamut of their tastes together in one mouthful. And, boy, do they work well. The unique, sharp aftertaste of the plum, the soft, creamy pillow-like cheese, the peppery rocket and the sweet vinegar join together so that the unique combination of flavours explode on your tongue. be sure to try it before the plum season ends...


Archives
2005 | My Kitchen - This is where I chill out.
2004 | roasted onion, pumpkin and arugula salad at the Chowhound (ack) Picnic.

| | | |
A Perfect Pairing: Plum - Mozarella - Rocket - Fig Balsalmic

25 Comments:

  • At 19/10/06 08:35, Blogger Garrett said…

    Oh Sam, you set my heart a flutter! I do think I'll have to give this one a go!

     
  • At 19/10/06 08:40, Anonymous L said…

    Yum! That looks and sounds fantastic. Great idea.

     
  • At 19/10/06 09:18, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a huge fan of yummy bundles. In fact I think I need to create more yummy-bundles in my cooking.

    Looks simply fantastic, wish I was there to take a big bite of it (or, rather, wish it was here!)

     
  • At 19/10/06 09:46, Blogger krista said…

    Yummy...you made me hungry now!

     
  • At 19/10/06 10:18, Anonymous Eric C. said…

    Wow, what an awesome idea! I can't wait to try this.

     
  • At 19/10/06 10:45, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam, they look delicious!

     
  • At 19/10/06 12:26, Anonymous Sean said…

    Yes, please!

    Pretty much all my favorite things in one explosive mouthful...

     
  • At 19/10/06 13:30, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    I'm a big fan of the plum/blue cheese combo :D

     
  • At 19/10/06 15:39, Anonymous Barbara said…

    Great combination Sam.

     
  • At 19/10/06 21:14, Blogger Del4yo said…

    I confirm. I liked it so much I almost swallowed half of the pick. It really make an unexpected whole new taste, fresh and fruty :)

     
  • At 20/10/06 02:56, Anonymous christine (myplateoryours) said…

    Our plums are long gone, alas. Next year!

     
  • At 20/10/06 07:14, Blogger Julie said…

    I didn't even need to see the gorgeous photo to know that this was a very good idea. I love plums, but I have gotten rather mediocre specimens at least 50% of the time this year. Without very nice plums, this just would not work nearly as well. However, I could see the ingredients topping a thin pizza with the plums being baked to mask to their flaws. Hmmm... and I was planning a meal of homemade pizza tonight.

     
  • At 20/10/06 11:22, Blogger melissam said…

    Where does one find delicious plums in SF right now? Seems I haven't seen any for awhile ...

     
  • At 20/10/06 14:44, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Hi Sam glad I gave you this idea. Just catching up on your blog while I've been away mum

     
  • At 20/10/06 16:06, Anonymous Karina said…

    Gorgeous photo. Fab flavor combo. And your Mum is a genius! How lucky can a girl get?

     
  • At 21/10/06 11:59, Blogger Sam said…

    hi everyone - thanks for all your comments:

    One thing I must say about this salad is that the result actually tastes better than the sum of all its parts. I tried the plum and the mozarella first, separately, and I wasnt sure if it was really going to work. Then when I added them all together it was simply magical.

    There are still lots of great plums in the SF ferry building farmers market. The trick is to try them if you can - ask for a sample.

    I think blue cheese would be good too. although the strength of the cheese obviously would change the overall balance.

     
  • At 21/10/06 23:25, Blogger Linda said…

    I love a mixture of tastes all in one bite-rather like Barbra Streisand in that scene from Face in the Mirror (I think that's the name). My first experience with this was a salad chevre chaud where I put on one fork lettuce, tomato, goat cheese and a walnut all covered with salad dressing. It was such a great combination. Now I will put your pairing together and give it a try. Something new to enjoy!

     
  • At 22/10/06 03:14, Blogger Scott at Real Epicurean said…

    A perfect pairing indeed - one which oozes sophistication.

    This makes an elegant dinner party alternative to "sausages on a stick"!

     
  • At 22/10/06 13:08, Blogger Julie said…

    Hello Sam,
    Update: I left a comment on Friday, and I did end up using your post as inspiration for a fabulous thin-crust pizza. The plums here are a bit poor, so I used delicious red grapes, halved, sliced fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on olive oil-coated pizza dough. A minute before the pie was done cooking, we tossed on the balsamic-coated arugula. It was absolutely wonderful and unique. I wanted to thank you for inspiring one of our more original pizza creations!

     
  • At 23/10/06 09:23, Blogger yoony said…

    hi sam,

    that looks delicious! i've never tried that combo before - and i'm a lil bit tomato crazy right now. but i'm confuses, i thought rocket=arugula??

     
  • At 23/10/06 09:42, Blogger Mallika said…

    This sounds gorgeous. And so easy.

    I tend to serve fruit after an Indian meal. I wonder how it would work with a sprig of mint and a drizzle of honey as a sweet, fruity ending?

    Will keep you posted...

     
  • At 25/10/06 21:38, Blogger Pepper said…

    Thought rocket and arugula were the same thing. Can anyone clarify?

     
  • At 25/10/06 22:26, Blogger Sam said…

    they are the same thing - my lame attempt at a joke :)

    "rocket (arugula to you)"

     
  • At 25/10/06 22:27, Blogger Sam said…

    PS what i meant was - it you don't call it rocket then you can use arugula which is what it is called elsewhere

     
  • At 25/10/06 23:02, Blogger Pepper said…

    Ah, slap forehead. Thanks.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home