Ripe juicy plums are halved and fried in olive oil until golden, sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and garnished with maple syrup and fresh mint leaves. Serve as a starter or instead of a cheese course. It takes about 5 minutes to make! Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 plums, halved and stoned
100g feta cheese
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or good quality runny honey)
12 mint leaves
1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick or cast-iron pan. Fry the plums, cut-side down, over medium heat until golden (2-3 minutes). Turn them over and cook for another minute but make sure that they don’t collapse.
2. Lay the plums on a serving plate, sprinkle over the crumbled feta cheese, drizzle with maple syrup and decorate with mint leaves.
– Look for the letters PDO which means ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ when you buy feta cheese in a packet. You’ll be surprised to find that even the lowest-priced versions often carry it (look at the ingredient list at the back of the pack). It means that the feta cheese has been hand-made in Greece on a hill of mount Kithairon and is matured in wooden barrels for more than 4 months. It tastes better and it’s good for your gut bacteria because it is a naturally fermented food.
– Use any runny honey – you’ll find interesting varieties in the Eastern European shops as well as Irish honey which is some of the best in the world. If you can check that the honey is from a single source and is not blended from different honeys.
– Peaches or apricots work just as well.
– Use basil or even finely chopped tarragon or oregano instead of mint.
– You’ll be surprised how versatile this recipe is: change the honey (use lavender or buckwheat honey instead of what’s in your cupboard), switch plums for apricots and add the accent of a different herb and you have a slightly different dish each time.
– Look out for plumegranate plums during summer: they are a variety of plum with almost black skin and a rich blood-red interior. They are a stunning colour on the plate (see our photograph above) and they have a slightly sour taste that works well with honey. The don’t cost more than the usual variety of purple plum – we bought them to test this recipe and found them in a discount supermarket!