We planted a mini orchard two years ago – a plum, cherry and apple to add to the two apple trees and one cherry we already had. They are all grafted onto stock which is suitable for small gardens but I obviously thought I lived in some sort of country estate, planted too many for the tiny space I actually have and am having to keep a close eye on things to stop them getting too big!
The birds are currently feasting on the cherries (one peck out of EACH and EVERY cherry, little devils) so I’m pinning my hopes on my, potentially, bumper plum harvest next month when I will zoom in with a big basket and nab them before the wood pigeons and blackbirds get a look in (or I’ll buy them at the market and just give up on my Barbara Good ambitions completely).
If I do manage to grab some I will be making this super simple little summer salad. The cheese is (of course) optional, replace it with vegan feta or with smoked tofu – that last one is my current favourite. I’ve taken to dipping smoked tofu cubes in almond milk, rolling them in panko breadcrumbs and frying them until they are crispy on the outside, soft and smoky on the inside OH MY WORD, addictive!
Grilled Plums with Couscous and Mint
- 2 ripe but firm plums , halved and stones removed
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 125 g wholegrain couscous
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 4 spring onions
- 25 g almonds
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- juice of a lemon
- 25 g fresh mint
- 25 g soft goat’s cheese/vegan feta/smoked tofu
- black pepper
- Brush a griddle pan with 1 tsp sunflower oil and heat until just smoking - if yu don't have a griddle pan you can pop them under the grill until browned and juicy.
- Place the plums cut side down on the hot griddle and cook for 4 minutes.
- Pour the hot stock over the couscous, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork to break up any clumps.
- Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan for a minute or two until just browned and aromatic.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and mint.
- Stir the spring onions, almonds and mint dressing into the couscous, keep a little bit to drizzle on your plums
- Serve, topped with the grilled plums, crumbled goats cheese/vegan feta/smoked tofu, drizzled with the remaining mint dressing and finished with a good grinding of black pepper.
This is a lovely dish to serve at a veggie barbecue – for more vegetarian barbecue ideas check out the mammoth post I pulled together last week, it has THIRTY vegetarian barbecue ideas, how fab is that?!