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.

Plum Vinaigrette

  • 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?

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