The tart plums and sweet maple syrup lend an Asian flavor to pork, poultry or fish. Use this versatile dish as a condiment, a cooking base for meats, or a distinct dessert. 6 red or black plums, washed and quartered. MAKES 2 CUPS
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 sweet (Vidalia) onion, thinly sliced, optional
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 3 tablespoons orange juice
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly oil a shallow baking pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place plum quarters and onion slices (if using) in pan and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil.
3. Stir in syrup, vinegar, orange juice, rosemary and sea salt. Roast in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until plums and onions are caramelized.
4. Remove from heat, cool and serve immediately (see serving suggestions, below), or refrigerate. Keeps in covered jars in refrigerator up to 4 days.
+ Before roasting plums, place 4 pork, chicken or fish fillets in the baking pan on top of plums, cover with foil and roast until meat is cooked.
+ Coarsely chop roasted plum mixture and toss with fresh fruit for an appetizer, salad or dessert.
+ In a blender or food processor, blend plum mixture until smooth. Use for meats or as a dipping sauce.
Culinary herbalist, photographer, writer and lecturer Pat Crocker feeds her sweet tooth with locally made maple syrup. She is the author of several award-winning books including The Healing Herbs Cookbook.
Click here for the main article, Maple: A Staple from Tree to Table.