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Author Notes: Take some vibrant mediterranean spices, add plums and a grilling cheese, and you can create innovative summer hors d'oeuvres or a side dish for your entree. To save time I cut the plums just shy of the stone on both sides. The remaining stone and flesh I will cook into a preserve, where it will be very easy to remove the pits later. In this recipe I am striving to get a perfect sweet and sour balance. I have added exotic spices that will accentuate the tartness of the sweet plum. If you do not have Sapa (http://www.nudo-italia.com/products/51?category=4) you could try adding sweetened coffee to this marinade as a substitute. The marinade may vary for the degree of tartness your plums have, not to mention your personal taste. So add more sugar if your plums are really tart. It is important to use a grilling cheese. I have chosen to marinade both the cheese and the plums. You can cook these as kebabs, or simply altogether in a grill pan. Both options are illustrated. Photos include the plums during the marinade process (in bowls and on a plate), during grilling, as well as plated. If you want kebabs, but do not want to fuss grilling them in that form, you can make the kebabs after everything is cooked using toothpicks. Larger plums will take much longer to cook than smaller ones, but I found that it was easy to cook different types of plums on the grill at the same time. You just have to keep a watchful eye on them all. Obviously, grilling times will vary, but I am giving what my times were with large black plums and tiny golden cherry plums. Serve these with a cool sour cream, Greek yogurt or creme fraiche, lemon and rosemary sprigs. This can be eaten as a first course or in place of a side veg. (like beets) so I am putting it in the vegetable category for that reason. —Sagegreen
- wooden skewers or toothpicks for kebab option, soaked in water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red basalmic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Sapa, optional (or sweetened coffee)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey (acacia works well)
- 2-3 cups halved sweet plums
- 8-9 ounces Halloumi, cubed (sheep and goat's milk grilling cheese of Cyprus) or other grilling cheese
- 3-5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- spray of canola oil for grill
- drizzle of honey or sprinkle of brown sugar for the final grilling minute, optional
- sprigs of rosemary for garnish
- lemon slice for garnish
- drizzle of honey or sprinkle of brown sugar
- serve with a garnish of sour cream or creme fraiche
- Prepare your grill. Real hardwood charcoal is recommended. Also soak wooden grilling skewers or toothpicks if you have tiny cherry-sized plums in water for @ 20 minutes.
- While the grill is getting ready, make the marinade by combining the all the liquids including the honey.
- Toss the halved plums and cubed cheese with the brown sugar and spices. Pour the liquid marinade over this.
- After 20 or 30 minutes make your kebabs. If you are not going to use this method, then spray a grilling pan with canola oil.
- Grill the plums and cheese cubes until golden brown. Small plums will take 2-3 minutes per side. Large plums may take as long as 5-8 minutes per side, even longer than burgers. But use your own good judgment by keeping a watchful eye.You may want to drizzle some honey or add some brown sugar to the final minute of grilling.
- Garnish with rosemary and lemon. If your plums are very tart, add a garnish of honey or sprinkle of brown sugar. Use these as hors d'oeuvres or a side dish with your entree.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Plums