Plum crazy

Grilled kale salad with ricotta and plums

Fresh plums are starting to appear in many farmers' markets. Even though they are delicate than other stone fruit like peaches and nectarines, plums are still well suited for many different recipes from salads to dessert. Russ Parsons of the L.A. Times offers insight on how to choose and use plums, and provides a dozen recipes to get you started.

A short video on choosing plums precedes a history lesson about a particular variety of plum called the Santa Rosa, developed in the early 1900s by plant breeder extraordinaire Luther Burbank (if that name sounds familiar, it's because he developed the Russet Burbank potato). You'll be hard-pressed to find a Santa Rosa plum outside of a California farmers' market, but there are many other heirloom types available across the country.

When deciding on which plums to buy, Parson's advice is simple: "Plums should be slightly soft and fragrant. If there are white spots on the skin, don't worry. Those are just naturally occurring yeasts that have collected there. Actually, it's a good indicator that the fruit hasn't been overhandled."

If the dozen plum recipes that accompany the article don't inspire you, try one of these from the EYB Library:

 

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