Thanks to Mr. Luther Burbank for developing the marvelous Santa Rosa plum in the late 1800s — at his home in Santa Rosa, California.
It’s hard to find Santa Rosa plums in the market at perfect ripeness (or sometimes at all) so count yourself plum lucky if you have a bowlful …. or more.
They don’t stay in that state of perfection very long, so if you have a lot, you could do what my friend Cathy does and make Alice Waters’ recipe for plum upside-down cake, and invite some friends over to eat it with you.
I was inspired once again by Nigel Slater, who makes a tabbouleh with plums (and another with peaches or nectarines) that is quite wonderful.
I’ve already made it a couple times. So here is the recipe, which I’ve tweaked a bit. Adding some lemon to the water when soaking the bulgur makes it more flavorful, but if you don’t have enough lemons, just use all water.
- 1 cup bulgur
- 6 large juicy plums (or more, of course, if they’re small)
- 6 green onions
- a bunch of parsley (Slater says 8 bushy sprigs)
- a bunch of mint (or 8 bushy sprigs)
- a small red hot chile (I used a jalapeno pepper)
- several lemons for lemon juice
- olive oil
- Put the bulgur in a bowl and pour over 1 cup of boiling water and a scant half cup of lemon juice. Cover and let rest for half an hour or till the water is absorbed.
- Finely slice the green onions, and chop the mint and parsley
- Chop the chile finely (mince, really) — you may want to use only half of it at first and add more if to your taste– and add to the onions and herbs
- Halve, pit and coarsely chop the plums and add to the onion-herb-chile mixture. Pour in 1/3 cup lemon juice, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper.
- Rough the bulgur up with a fork, making sure it’s absorbed all the liquid. Crumble it into the plum-onion-herb mixture, stir in another glug or two of olive oil (and/or more lemon juice if you like — of course, I like it lemony, but you should taste it to make sure it’s right). The mixture should not be wet, though. Add more salt if needed, then serve.
And if you have only one plum — just enjoy it!