To me, a grilled or sautéed fruit salad with fresh, dark leafy greens and local, melt-in-your mouth cheese is a birthday gift all in itself–hopefully my friend Jeanine agreed because that’s what she got for her big day this year.
It all started when I received some gorgeous prune plums in my from the farmer basket last week…
And then, I saw my butter sitting, bored, out on the counter (where it should be, in my opinion, much of the time) and my vermouth coyly eyeing me up from across the bar. Just like that, an idea was born – (cooked) Plum, Kale and Feta Salad! I love how culinary creativity works. You look around at what you have and you see if maybe, just maybe, those ingredients could be combined to form something truly delicious.
I knew right away what I would do with the plums – a little butter and sweet alcohol go a long way with these guys – but I new I’d have to balance out the sweetness with some bitter, creamy and salty notes. In comes the dino kale, which I find a bit more tasty but still as nutritious as curly kale; domestic feta, which I got from my favorite online grocery store Relay Foods that is ideal for when convenience takes precedence (and where you can save $30 on your first order of $50 or more); and some toasted pine nuts and mint for some texture and brightness.
Plum, Kale and Feta Salad with Fresh Mint and Pine Nuts
What You’ll Need:
- 1 pint of prune plums (or 3 medium purple plums), pitted and quartered
- 4 cups of dino kale, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh feta cubes
- 1 Tbs unsalted, organic butter
- 2-3 Tbs (a “splash”) sweet vermouth
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1-2 Tbs olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
How to Make It:
- Melt butter is a sauté pan over medium heat until it starts to brown but not burn. Add cut plums to your pan and turn the heat up to medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of sweet vermouth (any sweet wine or aperitif would work in a pinch). Cook about another minute, or until the liquid is pretty close to completely evaporated. Remove prunes from pan and let cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together kale, lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper. Massage the kale for a minute to work the dressing into the leaves.
- Combine the kale and plums together, cover, and set it in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Once it’s party time, add your toasted pine nuts, shredded mint leaves and feta cubes (I like this and all cheese at room temperature). Give it a good mix and enjoy!