The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Plum, pluot, pear // the year in food

I love this time of year. There’s something kind of sparklingly magical about it. The crackly edge in the air, the threat of those long winter nights as the evenings lose their light earlier. It’s brisk. A little wild. But then it’s tempered by blithe, warm days when it feels like all is right in the world. And I think this in-between place that flirts with both summer and winter is reflected equally in the produce available now.

A salad of sautéed pears and plums // the year in food

There are the last of the plums and tomatoes crashing up against delicata and butternut and hubbard squash. There are all manner of peppers on the scene still; apples seem to be peaking already, and pears are close on their tails. And pomegranates, what? I don’t think that I’ve ever seen pomegranates arrive so early. So it goes.

A salad of sautéed pears and plums // the year in food

Anyhow, it’s a rare moment. We get the best of both. I had some grand visions for this salad. There were going to be figs, too, and pomegranate, and more nuts and seeds – kind of in homage to the volume of things available right now. This grand harvest season. But I toned it down. Point is, let this in-between be an opportunity to mix it up. Apples and peppers, why not? Or pears and plums and pluots. Or figs and tomatoes. It’s a rare window we’ve got right now.


1 firm red pear, such as a Red Krimson, cored and thinly sliced
2 plums or pluots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
2 tablespoons good Balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, pressed or minced
6-8 cups arugula
Generous pinch of sea salt
Black pepper

A salad of sautéed pears and plums // the year in food

Heat a large pan over medium-low heat. Add a little oil. Sauté the pears for about 2-3 minutes per side, until they’re a little soft, a little brown at the edges, but still holding their shape. Set aside. Repeat with the plums or pluots.

While the fruit cooks, toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often to keep from burning, about 3-5 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar and garlic until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the arugula with the dressing. Top the greens with the seeds and the fruit. Season to taste. Serve immediately.

A few last images from summer:

Stitchdown Farm, Vashon Island, WA // the year in food

Tomatoes at Stitchdown Farm, Vashon Island, WA // the year in food

A teepee in Polebridge, Montana // the year in food

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - September 25, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    This salad is so gorgeous!! I love the plums and pears in there. Yum!!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - September 25, 2013 - 3:56 pm

    What a gorgeous, salad, Kimberley! I couldn’t agree more with you about the in-between. It is SUCH a glorious time. xoReplyCancel

  • thecitygourmand - September 25, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    Spectacular produce – those Red Anjou pears are my FAVOURITEReplyCancel

  • Eileen - September 25, 2013 - 7:47 pm

    What a beautiful salad! I love all the glowing colors. Fruit and greens are just perfect for the end of September. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - September 26, 2013 - 5:38 am

    That tent! Those stars! Wow, what a stunning night that must have been.ReplyCancel

  • Dan from Platter Talk - September 26, 2013 - 6:36 am

    This is a great illustration of the confluences of taste and season. Love it.ReplyCancel

  • Kiran @ - September 26, 2013 - 7:01 am

    Love plums and pears in salad. This looks so colorful and divine :)ReplyCancel

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - September 27, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    Beautiful salad and the last picture is wonderful, magical post! :)ReplyCancel

  • Liria - September 27, 2013 - 12:38 pm

    Lovely pictures! Salads with fruit between their ingredients are my favorites, it looks very tasty.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - September 27, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    I normally don’t like this in-between time of year but this year, I’m totally feeling it. Just lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Irina @ wandercrush - September 29, 2013 - 12:20 am

    Those last few images have me looking forward to next year already… but I hate to get ahead of myself, what with all the autumnal baking and family holiday meals coming up. The salad is gorgeous, and you know you’ve got the best ingredients when you only need the simplest of dressings to tie it all together.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - September 29, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    Those plums look amazing! I never would have thought to toss these ingredients together in a salad, but it seems like a great idea! Beautiful!ReplyCancel

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