the appetizer:

Plum Gorgeous, Recipes and Memories from the Orchard by Romney Steele includes recipes like September Salad; Kumquats and Toasted Couscous with Halloumi; and Tomato, Grape, and Ricotta Flatbread.



September Salad

Serves 4 to 6 as a starter course

September Salad


September in California is typically bursting at the seams with sweet melons, late-season figs, and an array of herbs, vine tomatoes, and wild greens. What better than to combine them in a gorgeous composed salad? Oloroso sherry is the surprise ingredient in the dressing, enhancing the finished dish. In a pinch, use fine-quality sherry wine vinegar instead—though a little less of it—and a pinch of sugar.

  • 1 ripe heirloom melon
  • About 1/3 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 8 to 12 ripe figs (about 1 basket), halved
  • Handful of wild or young arugula leaves
  • Opal basil leaves
  • Spearmint leaves
  • Handful of almonds, lightly toasted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
  • About 1/4 cup oloroso sherry
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel, seed, and thinly slice the melon (use only half if it is substantial), then arrange the slices on a large platter. Drape the prosciutto over the top and scatter with the figs, arugula, and a few leaves each of basil and spearmint, torn or slivered if they are large. Sprinkle with the almonds and a few tomatoes. Warm the sherry in a small pan over low heat for just a minute. Transfer to a small bowl, and then swirl in olive oil to taste. Drizzle over the salad. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • from:
    Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard
  • by Romney Steele
  • Andrews McMeel Publishing 2011
  • Hardcover; $25.00
  • ISBN-10: 1449402402
  • ISBN-13: 9781449402402
  • Reprinted by permission.

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This page created September 2011

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