Have you had lemon plums before?
They are only available to me here on the East coast for about 3 weeks at the end of February and beginning of March. Super sweet and really juicy, I decided to put them into a salad that would mark the end of a lovely winter and the beginning of a beautiful spring.
This is a really lush and fresh salad. Peppery arugula and bitter radicchio are the perfect bed for the sweet slices of lemon plums, earthy mushrooms and crunchy sesame seeds. The dressing has a bit of Asian flare with a blend of fresh lemon plum puree, garlic, shallots, ume plum vinegar and sesame oil. Its a little bit sweet, a little bit savory with fresh, bright flavor in every bite!
This salad will carry over perfectly from the spring to the summer. If lemon plums aren’t available to you, use summer’s best plums, peaches or nectarines instead.
Here are the beautiful lemon plums. The yellow flesh plums are a bit tart. But when they ripen to a bright orangey red, they are really sweet. I used both for this salad. And I pureed a couple of these plums as the fresh, sweet base for the dressing, too!
Sometimes when I use a thicker dressing, I’ll drizzle some on the side of the plate instead of dressing the lettuce. It looks pretty, doesn’t weigh down the greens, and you can drag your forkful through to get the perfect amount on your bite of salad.
There’s just something so special about seasonal fruits and vegetables that you know you can’t have everyday. So if you see lemon plums at your market, scoop them up. They may not be there the next time you go back!
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 7 ounces of baby arugula
- 1 small head of radicchio, thinly sliced
- 4 lemon plums, cut into thick slices
- 10 ounces of baby Portobello mushrooms, (cooked or raw; I lightly sautéed mine for this salad)
- 2 teaspoons of white sesame seeds
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- 2 lemon plums, pitted and pureed in a blender (you should have 1 cup of puree)
- 2 Tablespoons of ume plum vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of minced shallot
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon of fresh minced ginger
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place the plum puree in a bowl.
- Add the vinegars, lemon juice, sesame oil, shallots, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes..
- Whisk to combine.
- Taste and season with salt & pepper.
- Combine the arugula and radicchio.
- Add a Tablespoon or 2 of dressing and toss gently.
- Add the mushrooms and lemon plums and sesame seeds.
- Toss to combine again.
- Sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds and serve with the remainder of the dressing on the side.
- If you use raw mushrooms, add them directly to the salad.
- If you cook them, let them drain in a colander before adding them to the salad.