July 14, 2013

Plum and Edamame Salad

vegan, summer salads

I tend to get a little over excited when buying summer produce at the farmers market and come home with an over abundance of fresh fruit. I have to say that the stone fruits are my real weakness as they are best had when seasonally fresh. I like to cut up a variety of plums, pluots, nectarines, and peaches for my family to snack on after dinner and we will eat several each day. I like to select stone fruits at varying stages of ripeness so they will last me for the whole week, but there are still many left to eat by the time the week is up. I put this salad together to serve with poached wild salmon. The combination of the sweet and tangy plums, with the crisp cucumbers, and edamame made a delicious companion to the salmon, but would be equally good on it's own or with mixed baby greens.

This beautiful happy accident of a dish came together as some of the best of them do. Start with fresh ingredients that you might be fortunate enough to have around, and combine them with staples from your freezer or pantry. I was very excited to have just picked the first cucumbers from my garden so I began making some a salsa to go with the fish I was planning to make for dinner. Into my clean white bowl went some chunks of cucumbers and the rest layered right in as I hunted through my refrigerator and freezer. I always have bags of organic edamame, both in pods and out, in the freezer for snacking or hummus. Cukes and edamame seemed like a good idea. As I always have lemons around from my Meyer lemon trees, a scraping of zest and a squeeze of juice went in as well. But the salad needed a contrasting color and flavor. It needed something red, sweet, and tart, but tomatoes would not have been right. My plums and pluots that remained from last week's farmers market seemed perfect. They were. This salad is light, fresh, and packed with nutrients. You will love it.

Plum and Edamame Salad

Serves 6-8

For all ingredients, please consider using those that are organically grown.

1 pound bag shelled edamame (frozen organic)
6 plums or pluots of your choice, nectarines would be great as well, cut into small chunks
1 Japanese cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2-3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
1-2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Prepare the edamame. Bring water to a boil in a medium size sauce pan. Add a generous tablespoon of sea salt and add the edamame. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until they are just beginning to become tender. Pour the peas into a strainer over the sink and rinse with cold water. Throw some ice cubes over the top as well. This will not only stop the cooking of the peas, but will bring them to a cooler temperature faster.

Combine the prepared plums, cucumbers, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Add the cooled edamame and the prepared parsley and mint to the mixture.

Add the rice vinegar, olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. At this point feel free to add more fruit, lemon, vinegar, or seasonings if you desire.

Serve over mixed baby greens or with along with a favorite entree such as poached salmon.

The salad will hold for a couple of days refrigerated, but is best consumed the day that it is made.



Categories: Beans & Legumes, From The Garden, Fruits, Salads