This may be my last post for a little while. I head to Italy today, and am so excited. I'm going with a small group of students (which makes us all sound younger than we are) who all study Italian from the same teacher, who leads immersion trips every year. She's got a fabulous sense of humor, discovers out-of-the-way restaurants that feature local delicacies, and has an iron rule that we cannot speak English until the second course of dinner is served to our table each evening. So, there's terror too.
My conversation might be limited to the weather. It's supposed to be hot, humid and sunny, so I've been practicing talking about heat, sunshine, rain, fog (if asked about summer weather at home-I'm nothing if not thorough), and humidity. If there's a sudden squall, I'm totally ready to suddenly murmur 'il lampo' if there's a sudden flash of lightening, and 'il tuono' if I hear thunder.
Don't worry, I'm reviewing shopping, food, errands, and asking directions too - the practicalities of life. But I'm specializing in weather and am hoping for a surprise snowstorm.
As a parting gift before packing my bags, I wanted to leave you with this recipe I make all summer. It's my most often requested recipe from parties when I serve it. When a friend told me last week that she'd searched all over this blog for the recipe after a dinner party, I realized I really needed to post it. This month's theme on #ProgressiveEats is stone fruit, so it was perfect timing.
I'll try to post a little while I'm gone, but if not, I'll meet you all back here in mid-September with plenty of Italian recipes inspired by my travels.
It's important to use plums or pluots that aren't overripe. It's almost better from them to be slightly underripe than overripe. You can choose either plums or pluots, but I often combine them for a contrast in color and flavor.
If you don't care for cilantro - many don't - substitute basil.
Eliminate the mozzarella for a vegan salad.
Make it a meal and serve this salad over cooked farro. If you choose this option, increase the dressing by 50%.
Plum Salad with Avocado and Mozzarella
- 2 avocados
- 3 black plums or pluots
- 2 nectarines
- 6 disks of mozzarella cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 3 tablespoon peach white balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoon good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- Cut the avocados up into cubes. Remove the pits of the plums (or pluots) and nectarines, and cut up into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl with the cheese disks.
- Using a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic with salt until pulverized into a wet paste. Add the cilantro and mint, and mash thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients and vigorously mix. Toss with the fruit and cheese. Wait 30 minutes before serving.