Whenever I see these sweet little Italian plums in the grocery store, I get excited. I love to snack on them as-is, but really, they are pretty versatile. These are the plums dried to make prunes. Yup…prunes. I feel like that made them sound a bit less sexy, didn’t it? But really, they are incredibly delicious roasted. Roasting brings out their sweetness and caramelizes their sugars to create a really unique treat. Serve them with whipped cream as a dessert (OK, so we’re bringing sexy back), bake them into breads or cakes or use them in savory dishes like this salad or roasted with chicken or pork to add bit of rich sweetness.
Italian plums can go by a variety of names, prune plums, sugar plums, Jersey plums, Stanley plums, Empress plums or, if you’re very scientific, prunica domestica. Look for them from early September through early October. Choose firm plums and allow them to soften a bit before roasting. They’ll keep, once softened, in the fridge for a few days.
- 12 Italian plums, halved and stones removed
- olive oil
- 6 cups mixed greens (I like to combine red leaf lettuce with some of my favorite greens)
- ¼ medium red onion, sliced
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (omit to keep this vegan)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 roasted plum halves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Place the plum halves on the sheet and drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat them. Rub the olive oil on to each halve. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, being careful not to let the sugars burn.
- Make the dressing by combining ingredients in either a blender or tall cup using a hand blender and pulse until smooth.
- Arrange mixed greens, red onion, goat cheese and plums on a serving dish. Drizzle with dressing and top with the toasted pine nuts.