A Perfect Pairing: Plum - Mozarella - Rocket - Fig Balsalmic
(or you could use arugula instead)
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...