5 Ingredients or Fewer

Savory Plums and Onions

August  5, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 2-4, depending on the size of your plums, onions and appetites
Author Notes

I hope you like this quick relish of sorts, which we put on grilled sausages. Choose a firm-fleshed, just barely ripe plum, which will keep its shape. By flash searing the fruit to caramelize it quickly, remove it and saute the onions in the same pan, they caramelize quickly in the sweet juices released by the plums. If your sausages don't have herbs in them, throw in a few good pinches of fresh thyme leaves. With garlic and herb sausages, I don't bother. Either way . . . . I hope you like this!! ;o) —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • 3 medium prune plums or 2 medium other plums, pluots or firm apriums
  • 4 large shallot lobes (use ones about the same size as the fruit)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar (red or white, it doesn't matter)
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Halve and pit the plums. Cut each half into three or four slices, lengthwise. Thickly slice the shallots lengthwise.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Just as the oil begins to smoke, drop all of the fruit slices in and gently turn them after about 15 seconds. Add a tiny pinch of salt. As soon as the plum slices turn light brown, remove them to a bowl, uncovered.
  3. With the heat still on medium high, sauté the onions with another pinch of salt, stirring constantly. After about a minute, turn the heat down and let the onions cook on medium low heat for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Push the onions aside, add the vinegar and mustard, and stir to incorporate. Then, stir to coat the onions, and cook over medium for another minute or so.
  5. Gently fold in the plum slices. Test and adjust salt and pepper.
  6. N.B. Use an oil like grapeseed or canola oil - one with a higher smoke point than olive oil. You need to make it very hot, then get the fruit in and out in a hurry. This allows the fruit to retain its shape, with the peels remaining intact.
  7. When pan frying sausages, remove them and set them aside (covered), the proceed with the recipe, using the same pan. Return the sausages to the pan at the very end to warm them just a bit before serving. Easy!!
  8. Recently, I've been using Westcot apriums for this. Their tart flesh gives it a great flavor.
  9. Years ago I stumbled on a noteworthy reference books for preserves by the British author Hilaire Walden. “Sensational Preserves” includes a recipe for a red plums, red onion confit made with Szechuan peppercorns, brown sugar and vinegar - a chutney, really. Over the years I simplified and tweaked that recipe, to end up with this. ;o)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • monkeymom
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • dymnyno
  • Sunchowder

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

31 Reviews

lapadia August 28, 2010
Made this for dinner tonight with my husband's helping hand, rave reviews from everybody who was lucky enough to be here, DELICIOUS!
monkeymom August 23, 2010
Plums used in this way is such a fantastic idea. I'll be looking for plums this week to try it out!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 11, 2010
This really looks so good, antonia, that I'm planning on making it tonight. I'm not a big sausage girl, but was thinking of using this as a compote over pork chops. And thanks for the recommendation on Sensational Preserves. I want to get more into canning, and it sounds like this would be a great book! Thanks for all the knowledge you share!!
AntoniaJames August 11, 2010
You've been reading my mind! I have pork chops on my shopping list, to grill this week and to serve with this plum and onion combination. With the pork chops, I'll probably increase the amount of mustard as we won't be putting mustard on the chops themselves, as we do with the sausages. I'll most likely use a very coarse mustard as well. Can you tell I love mustard?!! I have my first batch of Mostarda Mantovana of the year in progress now, having started it on Sunday, the first day that local, freshly picked apples were available at our farmers' markets here. Stay tuned for more on that. I'm having a lot of fun with mustards this year! ;o)
TheWimpyVegetarian August 11, 2010
Made this wonderful little compote tonight for some pork chops and just loved it! So easy. So delicious. Thanks for posting!!
dymnyno August 11, 2010
AJ I love fruit and onions...last night I was really tired and decided to make a quick and dirty chicken so I just sauteed some sweet onions with a sliced tart Gravenstein apple in a big dab of butter and dumped it on the chicken...will have to try plums.
AntoniaJames August 11, 2010
Mmmm, yum! I just bought a big bag of Gravs at the farmers' market. They are nice and tart. I simply will have to try this . . . I have some sausages in the fridge, which I was going to use in my lentil and sausage soup -- yes, it's been as cold here as many winter nights!! -- but now I'm thinking that pan frying them with a few of those apples and onions would do the trick nicely. Thanks for the inspiration! ;o)
Mac August 8, 2010
Okay, that was seriously delicious. The plums and onions were delicious and added a new dimension to chicken/apple sausage. Thank you!
AntoniaJames August 11, 2010
Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked them. We eat a lot of sausages (the ultimate convenience food, but such a good one because there are so many different really nice ones available now, including many made with lower fat meats) so I can see that these onion and fruit combos are going to become a regular feature on the menu here. ;o)
Mac August 7, 2010
Looks delicious. Will try it as I have a freezer fulll of sausages. Am planning to make strawberry jam tomorrow. Sunday DMV farmer's market has a vendor with the best strawberries I've had this summer. More like Oregon berries than California. A little pricey but worth it, I think, for the taste. Will buy some plums when I'm there....
Sunchowder August 6, 2010
This recipe looks fabulous! I am also excited to try a Mostarda--I have about 7 different recipe versions that I am going to experiment with--so thank you so much for renewed inspriration on that. I can't wait to try your recipe.
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
Thank you, Sunchowder! The mostardas will change your life. I'm serious. And I can imagine that they will be hugely popular with your customers, too. They take about five days to make (very little work during that time) and then, as most condiments, they taste a lot better after sitting for a week or so. I can't wait until quinces are ripe here! I'll be trying three or four types this fall, at least (combining fruits, too). ;o)
drbabs August 6, 2010
I love how this sounds...I don't really eat sausage, but I would love to try this.
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
Thank you so much. Try it on grilled chicken that's been marinated in some good strong herbs . . . parsley, fresh oregano, garlic and chives. I've also made this with shallots, but they tend to get too soft for my taste. They taste good, but I like the sturdier crunch of the yellow onions. I hope you do try it! ;o)
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
Aargersi, you simply must make the mostarda. You can make it in the fall, when there isn't quite as much around to can/preserve. Make small batches and put them up in 4 ounce jars and no one will ever notice. It's heavenly. ;o)
aargersi August 6, 2010
Allright but if I end up in a CA (canners anonymous) rehab facility I am taking you with me!!!!
Sagegreen August 6, 2010
Well, aargersi, after Mary's canning class this Saturday you may have some company at least.
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
Aargersi, I'm the worst jamming enabler on the planet. But really, the mostarda you put in small jars because you don't use a whole lot of it at a time, and it's not really "canning" (she says, trying to articulate her denial). You're just making a condiment. Besides, when anyone who might complain about your canning too much tries it, they'll immediately withdraw all objections. ;o)
Sagegreen August 5, 2010
Great recipe! My sister used to do this with apples and we never thought of plums.
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
Thank you, Sagegreen. I love onions and apples together, but this is even better, to my mind, especially when you use a tart variety of plum, and the plums are still a bit firm. With the touch of vinegar, it's not too sweet, but just does the trick to balance the rich flavors of a good brat. ;o)
aargersi August 5, 2010
This looks so good - I would never have thought to do this with plums!
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
Try it! Especially if your plums are rather tart, as ours tend to be, this works so well on brats of any kind. It's incredibly easy, too. ;o)
lapadia August 5, 2010
Sounds great, love your picture...and I think this is something I can handle even with my right arm in a sling...well, need somebody to get me to the store first! Thanks for sharing your creation.
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
You know, you probably can make this with just one hand. I hope you try it. And thanks for the kind words about my picture. That was my lunch yesterday!! I didn't have any baguettes or rolls for the sausages, so I just split one lengthwise and put it on some toasted multi-grain bread (my own, of course) for Mr. T. I piled about a half a cup of this stuff on it, and slathered one slice with coarse Dijon mustard. Mr. T declared it "outstanding." On a Saturday, we would have each enjoyed a nice "cold one" with it. ;o)
ellenl August 5, 2010
I can't wait to try this!
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
I hope you do try it, and that you enjoy it as much as we do!! ;o)
nannydeb August 5, 2010
This sounds wonderful!
AntoniaJames August 5, 2010
Thanks! It's quick and easy, too. Great ROI of time, and great summer food, at the same time, ;o)
thirschfeld August 5, 2010
You know I told my wife I needed to do a take on Boudin Noir with apples and onions. I even made chicken sausage(well rooster, we did some butchering this week and they have darker meat so it is great for sausage) to go with it and then changed my mind. I am glad you did this and it looks really great. Now I am going to have to get more plums so I can make this.
AntoniaJames August 5, 2010
Thanks so much! I really like fruit with sausages . . . . apples are everyone's favorites, and then I discovered Maria Teresa Jorge's Mostarda Mantovana, which I made with pears last fall, and plan to make with quinces, as soon as they're available here. I like these plums a lot because they're cooked so quickly, which allows them to retain their firmness. I hope you do try this. Please let us know how it turns out, if you do. ;o)
aargersi August 5, 2010
Please say you did not point out another canning project for me .... :-)