Plum Vinaigrette over Wild Rice, Fresh Basil & Walnuts
11 Mon, 2011 § 2 Comments
I am craving cherries. Every week I go to farmers’ market, hoping someone has a cherry orchard. I have had no such luck, & it leaves me missing Utah a little. I can’t get this idea of a cherry vinaigrette out of my head. Oh well.
What farmers do have here, though, are plums — small, sweet & just the right amount of juicy. It reminds me of our own little blossoming tree from my childhood.
From these a simple & vibrant plum vinaigrette was born. Golden or white balsamic was the perfect match, & I would recommend opting for it over dark balsamic. It’s lighter & sweeter than its darker counterpart, with a fruity, zesty flavor & subtle color that won’t overwhelm food. Golden balsamic is one of my favorite vinegars & worth keeping on hand.
- 1/2 cup fresh plums, pitted & chopped
- 1/4 cup golden/white balsamic vinegar
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil
- sea salt to taste
Combine plums & vinegar in a blender & blend smooth. I like to slowly whisk the olive oil in by hand, so I can easily taste & adjust the amount. Taste & whisk in sea salt to taste as well.
This can be used as a dressing over mixed greens, but I thought it paired especially well with wild rice or other dark grain salad. Just as cherries are perfect with wild rice, plums offer a similar sweet contrast. I cooked half wild rice & half brown rice together for Dave’s benefit, but I forgot he can’t eat wild rice at all. Next time I will do mostly — if not all — wild rice (& brown rice separately for him) or see if wild rice pairs well with red quinoa (cooked separately of course). I love wild rice, & it goes so well with plum & walnuts; but use whatever dark grain you like best.
I tossed the vinaigrette with 3 – 4 cups cooked rice, 2/3 cup toasted walnuts & 1 – 3 chopped plums (dried cherries would also work here), then gently stirred in a couple handfuls of thinly snipped fresh basil. I also added slices of ripe-yet-firm avocado on top of each serving right before eating. Do not add it before; it will brown & make the salad mushy. The avocado adds richness to the fruitiness & zest of the rest of the dish.
It might not be fresh cherries, but now I anxiously await next market for more plums…& keep my naive hope that cherries will somehow magically appear.
What vinegars do you like best for making dressings?