THE WASHINGTON POST – For some people, summer is corn season. For others, it’s tomato season. While I love both those beacons of the warm-weather months, it’s really no contest – for me, summer is stone-fruit season.
You might be able to tell just by walking up to my front yard, where I planted a tree on each side of the walkway, one peach and one plum.
The idea, of course, is to be able to go out into my yard and have my pick of fruit – strawberries raspberries, figs and cherries in the back and peaches and plums out front.
It’s my idea wealth – the kind of wealth that’s worth passing down.
Audrey Hepburn once said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” When you plant a fruit tree, you’re believing not just about tomorrow, but about generations of tomorrows.
I puree fruit into smoothies, gazpachos and sorbets, process them into jam, bake them into pies and cakes and, in one of my favourite uses, add them to salads for pops of tart juicy sweetness among savoury crunchy vegetables.
PLUM AND RADICCHIO SALAD WITH TAHINI YOGURT
Four servings (seven cups)
This recipe is a beautiful, richly hued concoction from registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen whose latest book, Good for Your Gut, features plant-based recipes aimed at digestive health (and enjoyment).
Here, you layer red or black plums with bitter radicchio, dates, walnuts and mint, and drizzle it all with a tahini-yoghurt dressing.
The plums for these you can use any of the best stone-fruit specimens you can find, where you can find them – white or yellow peaches or nectarines, plums or apricots, sweet or sour cherries.
Storage Notes: The dressing can be refrigerated for up to four days, the dressed and assembled salad up to two days.
FOR THE DRESSING
– Half cup unsweetened, plain coconut yoghurt
– Two tablespoons well-stirred tahini
– One tablespoon fresh lemon juice
– One clove garlic, finely grated or pressed
– Half teaspoon fine salt
– Half teaspoon granulated sugar
– Half teaspoon ground sumac
– Quarter teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
– Water, as needed
FOR THE SALAD
– One small head red radicchio (eight ounces), cored and finely shredded
– Four firm red or black plums (12 ounces total), pitted and sliced
– Half cup raw walnuts, chopped
– Three large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
– Quarter cup fresh mint leaves, chopped or thinly sliced
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, sugar, sumac and red pepper flakes. If the dressing is too thick, add a little water to loosen.
Make the salad. In a serving bowl, toss the radicchio with half of the dressing. Layer the plums, walnuts, dates and mint on top. Drizzle on the remaining dressing, or serve it on the side.