I have been thinking of making plum salsa since I wrote this post. To get an idea of what should go into plum salsa besides plums, I looked for and found a couple of recipes on the internet, one from Martha Stewart, one from allrecipes-dot-com. Once I felt that I had a firm grasp of the plum salsa concept, I made two decisions. Lime juice, yes. Cilantro, no. Then I went grocery shopping. No list.
While making the salsa, I glanced at Martha Stewart’s recipe a few times, but I departed significantly from her instructions.
I started with two large black plums, a type with pale flesh, not red. Both plums seemed firm, but when I cut them, one was firm and tart, the other was sweet, and mushy under the knife. I also used approximately a third of a white nectarine I was eating before I started cutting up the plums. I chopped the nectarine and plums into small pieces. I didn’t measure the pieces. I was in no hurry. I chopped according to my mood. I was feeling patient and serene. A Time Team episode played in the background. The familiar voices of the archaeologists were soothing to me, with a small pang of melancholy for Mick Ashton’s departure from this side of our perceivable existence.
Almost forgot to say, I peeled the plums and even the hunk of nectarine. Yep, I was feeling patient.
Martha Stewart’s recipe calls for a “small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped”. I had a large cucumber, I used two-thirds of it, and I didn’t fret about the seeds. I enjoy eating cucumber seeds, it’s one of the small joys in life. I chopped that two-thirds of a cucumber in the same manner and mood as the plums.
I added one tomato from a variety called Indigo Apple that I had picked up at the Cal Poly tomato plant sale. The tomato was a lovely eggplant color, but small because of the stunted growth of the plant, which was entirely my fault, not Cal Poly’s. This will undoubtedly be the only Indigo Apple tomato I will eat this season. The plant isn’t dead yet but that’s no thanks to me. I chopped the tomato in the same manner and mood as the plums.
No cilantro. I am indifferent to cilantro so I didn’t buy any.
One green tomatillo. In contrast to cilantro, I am enthusiastic about the tomatillo. Chopped in the plum manner, slightly smaller pieces.
Two thirds of a Mexican green onion, the white part. Diced more finely than the plum manner.
One whole white jalapeno pepper, diced more finely than the plum manner.
One half of a green jalapeno pepper, diced more finely than the white jalapeno. I stripped the seeds and ribs out of the jalapeno peppers before dicing. The green pepper was smallish.
A half teaspoon (approximately) of powdered ginger. I could not be arsed to finely grate fresh ginger, I don’t pretend to be Martha Stewart. (Plus I enjoyed saying “I could not be arsed”, which I culturally appropriated from natives of the British islands.)
A packet of zero-calorie sweetener was laying on the counter so I threw that in. Do not thow in the paper packet, discard packet, use sweetener. Or sugar, about 2 teaspoons should work.
Add less than 2 tablespoons of lime juice. I am never telling you the age of that bottle of lime juice. It was waaaaay past its expiration date. It was so far out of date, I felt compelled to boil it the day before, then let it cool. I would have used a fresh lime, but my huge American supermarket would only sell limes to me in 1 pound bags. I refuse to buy a pound of limes when I need the juice of one. I should plant a lime tree. Lime trees are tougher than tomatoes, right? The tree would probably survive.
Some granulated (but not powdered) garlic of an undetermined amount. I use granulated garlic so often I don’t measure it any more, I just shake it in. You may chop fresh garlic if you prefer, use however many cloves as you like, the result will be your fault. I did actually have garlic cloves on hand but I had exhausted my my patience for chopping.
I also shook in a little bit of salt, pepper, and a couple of my favorite seasoning mixes. Whatever seemed like a good idea at the time. Not much, just a bit for luck.
I tossed the mixture enough so that all the ingredients could meet and greet, but no more than that. I put the salsa into a lidded container and popped it into the fridge for an hour. Martha Stewart tells us that the mixture needs at least an hour for the flavors to blend. I see no reason to disbelieve her.
Then I cooked some ground turkey in a skillet, with salt and pepper, not much salt, because the ground turkey I get from my huge American supermarket is always slightly seasoned. I dumped the turkey right from the skillet into a bowl with hot turkey on one side and cold plum salsa on the other.
Yeah. That worked.
(Are you all envious of me at this point? You should be.)
In our house, we call this a once-in-a-lifetime meal, the result of circumstances and ingredients that are never going to come together again. Below is a handy printable version of the recipe for your own use.