Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard
Inside Plum Gorgeous, Romney “Nani” Steele follows her successful cookbook-memoir My Nepenthe with 60 seasonally inspired recipes that celebrate the “romance of fruit.” Capturing the essence, beauty, and deliciousness of cooking with seasonal fruits, Steele offers simple and seductive recipes that intertwine with the seasons in which each fruit is harvested. Savory recipes like Coriander Steak with Blackberry Vinaigrette and Kumquat Couscous Salad with Fried Haloumi Cheese are presented alongside sweet treats like Passionfruit Chocolate Truffles and Plum Soup with Basil Ice Cream. Interspersed throughout Plum Gorgeous are beautiful, full-color photographs by Sara Remington and reminiscences from the year that Steele spent living in an orchard in Big Sur, along with fruit lore and select notes on handling and preserving fruit. In an accessible but imaginative way, Plum Gorgeous beautifully reveals the many layers and flavor profiles of fruit while celebrating the memories inspired by each season’s beauty and bounty.
Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Sheri:
I had seen a few reviews and recipes for Plum Gorgeous online, but for some reason, I still wasn’t in a hurry to pick it up. Probably because there’s such a glut of cookbooks out there, it takes a lot to draw my attention. This one interested me enough to put it on my list to pick up at the library eventually, but when I happened upon it in a local bookstore my interest skyrocketed.
This is a stunning book, arranged by season–which suits me perfectly since my cooking tends to follow the seasons. The local markets are bursting with the last of the berries and stone fruits, and grapes; figs and apples are just starting to make an appearance, so I had a lot of options.
I started with Blackberry Polenta Muffins for breakfast, which came together in a snap and were as delicious as they were beautiful. The star of the show was the Tomato, Grape and Ricotta Flatbread I made for dinner. But I didn’t stop there. I made Cider-Braised Heirloom Apples with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream for dessert because I couldn’t resist the Gravensteins at the market. The ice cream is custard-based, but made with half-and-half to accommodate the extra fat from the creme fraiche. It’s silky smooth and works great with the apples and reduced apple caramel on top. When the apples are still warm, they match especially well with richness of the ice cream.
Ready to create some of these plum gorgeous recipes?
We recommend that you start with the tomato, grape, and ricotta flatbread recipe