At the market, it’s hard to not see bin after bin of plums arrayed like fruit jewels in shades of deep violet and purple, yellow and green. Like migrating birds, plums bid late summer goodbye and welcome the early days of autumn. At home, while hubby favours classic blood plums, I play the field, trying as many varieties as are available. This season, I discovered a small oblong-shaped sugar plum and loved its confectionary sweet flavour. It originates from Italy and used for making prunes. For hubby’s said blood plums, I place the violet orbs in a bowl on the bench for at least a week until he declares they’re ready to eat; acquiring the perfect balance between sweet and tart.
The success of this salad depends on your flavour choices; select favourite vegan sausage and favourite plum. I used a slightly spicy thick vegan sausage and hubby’s favourite plums. The plums should be ripe as grilling will bring out the sweetness. I use prepackaged grains that require a 90 second heating in the microwave, and this salad can be whipped together in less than ½ hour; perfect for busy cooks. I used a spice called Berbere from Gewurzhaus, a Melbourne firm that makes herbs, spices, tea blends and salt blends and pepper blends, it’s also available on line. Berbere contains chilli, cardamom, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, clove and pepper.
· The health benefits of plums include relief from indigestion, influenza infections, and anxiety-related problems. The antioxidant power of these fruits helps in treating osteoporosis, macular degeneration, cancer, diabetes and obesity. They also help in maintaining a healthy heart by reducing cholesterol levels.
VEGAN SAUSAGE, GRAIN & PLUM SALAD
3 plums, destone
1 red onion, sliced finely
4 vegan sausages, sliced
250 grams quinoa and brown rice, cooked
1/8 teaspoon Berbere *see notes for the ingredients
Put a griddle pan on high heat. Place destoned plums that are cut into 8 pieces on the hot griddle for 6 minutes, or until charred and caramelised, turning halfway. In another frypan, saute the red onion for about 5 minutes until translucent. Pull the onions to the side of the frypan, and toss in the cut sausages. Fry until lightly browned. Microwave pre-cooked grains by following the directions on the packet. Alternatively, cook the quinoa and brown rice separately. Use a 1/3 cup of quinoa with 150 ml water, bring to boil and allow to simmer until water is absorbed, if grains are tender, let sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork. Repeat for 1/3 cup of brown rice. Add grains to fry pan, toss in spinach and heat until the spinach is wilted. Add the grilled plums, sprinkle on Berbere and gently toss together. Serve with roasted vegetables. Enjoy!