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Plum, prosciutto and halloumi platter

March 21, 2016



On a recently, sneaky trip home (#pilotpapaperks), I couldn't help but make a quite trip to the British holy grail that is M&S.

It's an institution and, quite frankly, the only place to buy proper knickers. You can't beat a cotton bikini multipack from Mark and Sparks.

Whilst there I had a little browse through the aisle of the grocery section, (everyone knows you do your proper shop as Tesco/Sainsburys/Aldi, and get your 'nice bits' from Marks) and found the most beautiful plums from Flavorking.

A cross between a red plum and an apricot- so actually a pluot, I was intrigued and had to give them a try. As far as I know they haven't made their way across the pond to the States (though they did manage the Sahara desert as they are from South Africa), but i've since made this recipe back in the US with pluots and plums, both with success.



I think when people think about summery stone fruits like plums, the immediate go to recipes are sweet. Cobblers, pies, jams etc... I love the play off of sweet and savoury, I think it really enhances both flavour profiles, like putting salt in caramel. 


Fruit and cheese is a killer pairing, so I knew I definitely wanted to get some saltiness from a cheese component into the dish, but with a belly full of babes, a lot of my savoury, salty staples were off limits. 

Sans babies I would have gone for a chèvre, a cambozola or maybe a creamy blue like Saint Agur. But with my pasteurized, non mold ripened thinking cap on, I plumped for halloumi. A Cypriot sheep's milk, with a semi soft texture and an amazing salty flavour, it ticks the pregnancy diet box on three counts: it's commercially made from pasturized milk; it's not mold ripened; and most importantly for anyone who's still a little squeamish about anything other than a hard cheddar once the second line shows up on that pee stick, it's best served cooked.



Unlike most cheese, that melts into a gooey (and delicious) mess under heat, halloumi's texture can stand up to the heat of the grill, and in fact embraces it. Though it softens, it doesn't fall, and the char lines intensify the salty flavour and meaty texture.


Though not really approved by the pregnancy diet, I do live with a committed carnivore (whom I can live vicariously through in the beer and deli meat stakes... he's a champ) and thus so salty, sweet thinly slice prosciutto was the perfect finishing touch to this salty sweet triad.



Ingredients:

For the salad-
Large bag of washed arugula/rocket
5 Flavorking plums, or pluots that are available to you
1/4 lb/125g of very thinly sliced prosciutto
1/2 lb/250g halloumi cheese
3 heaped tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

1 Flavorking plum, or pluot that is available to you
1 tsp sugar
splash of water
1/8c /30ml cup red wine vinegar
1/4c /60ml olive oil
salt and pepper

Method:

Start by making the dressing. Peel and chop the plum and add to a small saucepan with the sugar and a splash of water- about two tablespoons.

Bring to a boil and turn down the heat, allow the fruit to soften until you can mash it into a smooth jam.  Allow to cool completely.

Scoop the cooled jam into a mixing bowl or jam jar, add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, then shake/mix really well until it's completely combined and emulsified. Set aside until you're ready to serve. This will keep in the fridge happily for about a week.

Slice the plums/pluots into wedges. I find the simplest way it to slice the fruit in half like you would an avocado, pressing the knife into the flesh until it hits the stone, then rotating the fruit making an 'longitudinal' cut around the whole fruit. Twist the two sides apart, leaving the stone in on half, the stone should be able to be picked out of it's half, or encouraged gentle with the tip of a knife if there's a lot of flesh trapping the stone. I aim to get 8 to 12 wedges from each fruit, depending on how plump it is.

Spread a deep layer of arugula/rocket over a platter, drape the prosciutto generously over the arugula. Think of the salad as a pizza (if only...) you want each 'bite' of the salad platter to get a little bit of every ingredient.

Slice the halloumi into 1/4 inch / just under a cm thick slices. Heat a griddle pan on the stove, you can definitely also use a frying pan but I really like the char lines a griddle gives the cheese. Grill the cheese slices until they have taken on dark brown grill marks, about 2-3 minutes on each side on a hot grill surface.

Place the halloumi over the prosciutto and arugula, pile the plums on top, then sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds to add some crunch.

I like to serve the platter with the dressing on the side for people to add themselves, so they can control the acid component and enjoy the lovely sweetness of the plums!







This is NOT a sponsored post, however it has been written as an entry to a competition run by Flavorking Plums.






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