A friend let me in on her secret. A wonderful fruit tree at our local park called a Cherry Plum. (Landscaping hedge/tree with edible round fruit - (1” in diameter). A forager’s delight, this abundant, tasty fruit was ready to eat. I had a lot of them and needed a great recipe. The timing was perfect for Hatch pepper season too. I am always up for some delicious salsa to celebrate the summer - So what better dish than to join these two. My husband is not a tomato guy, so plums would be a great alternative. Looking online, Martha Stewart had a recipe - https://www.marthastewart.com/338398/spicy-plum-salsa. However, instead of a jalapeño, I wanted smoother, fire roasted heat from a Hatch and Poblano pepper. I solely used the Cherry Plums and also added a good Walla Walla onion (Sweet Vidalia). I think you need a great onion to truly be a salsa.
As for verifying the identify of a Cherry Plum tree that you find, I would highly recommend contacting your local Master Gardeners program. This national U.S. link https://mastergardener.extension.org/about-us/find-a-program/ will give you the state websites. Then locate/find your nearest office - usually your county. I’ve gotten a lot of great assistance from them. The volunteers are there to help.
Main Salsa ingredients:
2 cups of Cherry Plums or (the equivalent using the ripe, larger sweet plums - like the ones at the grocery store) - rinsed, pits removed and chopped bite size.
For the Cherry Plums - I found that I like a good mixture of the yellow (sweet tart) and the red (more ripe and juicier but a little duller taste). Some individual plums have yellow on one side and red on the other. Those are my favorite.
1 Tablespoon Lime juice
1/2 cup chopped Walla Walla (Sweet Vidalia) onion
4 - 5 small cucumbers chopped to be bite sized for salsa (we love cucumbers) peel if the skin is too tough.
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 Hatch and 1 Poblano Pepper - Fire Roasted, Skin and Seeds removed. Finely chopped. (Being in Oregon, I was delighted to see certified New Mexico True Hatch Peppers in my local grocery store. If needed, Anaheim can be substituted for Hatch.)
For Pepper Roasting:
I used a Broiler Rack suitable for use over the open flame of our fire pit.
You will want to use oven mitts/pot holders to hold onto handle of Broiler Rack. (Please follow the manufacturers directions).
Long handled tongs also make it easier to move the hot roasted peppers.
You will also need a Ziploc Gallon Bag for Pepper steaming purposes.
***(Gloves - To protect you hands from the pepper oils)***
Knife and Cutting board.
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Step 1: Additional Pictures of Supplies
Step 2: Step 1: Fire Roasting Peppers
Prepare your peppers first. That will give them a chance to cool before adding to your salsa.
1 Hatch and 1 Poblano pepper. Fire roasted - skins and seeds removed. Finely chopped ***(Glove up when removing skin/seeds/chopping in case they are too spicy for hands). ***
Even though this recipe only calls for two peppers, I like to fire roast a bunch to have on hand. This way they are ready to go for another recipe.
I used a broiler rack for grilling over open flame. Follow manufacturers instructions of use. Char the pepper as shown in my picture. With tongs, immediately place the charred peppers in a Ziploc gallon bag and close. Use oven mitts and handle hot bag with care. The trapped steam heat will help loosen the pepper skin.
Step 3: Remove and Discard Pepper Skins and Seeds
When cool enough to handle, slide the pepper out of the bag and peel away the skin. Then cut out the seeds and discard skin and seeds. Finely chop and set aside one Hatch Pepper and one Poblano Pepper for the Salsa.
Step 4: Prepare Cherry Plums
Chop and remove Cherry Plum pits.
Step 5: Combine All the Salsa Ingredients:
To your Cherry Plums, add Cucumbers, Lime juice, Sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Salt, Cilantro, Onions and Fire Roasted Peppers. Mix well. If needed, add a little more garlic/ginger. I also found fresh lime juice more potent, so you might want to add sparingly and taste as you mix. Your salsa will do best if all the flavors are allowed to meld overnight in the refrigerator. This salsa is great served over chicken, beans and rice or just with tortilla chips. I hope you enjoy. I’ve also entered this recipe for the spicy contest, if you’d like to go vote. Thanks!
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