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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese


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It’s week 2 of the Summer Fest! Last week we played around with herbs and this week it’s time for fruit from trees. If you haven’t yet heard about Summer Fest, it’s a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best with my co-hosts White on Rice, Away to Garden and Matt Bites. Of course, It’s not a party without your participation! And I’ll tell you how in just a bit.

My contribution to this week’s “fruit from trees” is a warm salad made with juicy, sweet caramelized plums… barely sauteed fresh chanterelles, crumbly blue cheese and crisp savory bacon. This was a recipe that I made two nights in a row…it was such a hit.

Chanterelles may be hard to find, but any type of mushroom would do…from sliced, meaty portabello to velvety white button mushrooms.

And of course any type of stone fruit would work in this recipe. Please don’t limit this to just plums but experiment with peaches and nectarines.

The bacon? Oh honey, there’s no substitute for the bacon. Do 10 push-ups tomorrow.

My Friends at Earthy.com surprised me with a pound of beautiful trumpet-shaped Michigan chanterelles.

chanterelle-bacon-blue-cheese-plum-salad-6

After trimming the ends, the smaller ones get halved…and the larger chantrelles are quartered.

chanterelle-bacon-blue-cheese-plum-salad-28

Chanterelles are so beautiful that I’d hate to drown them in any type of sauce. Michael Ruhlman suggested that I keep them pretty simple with minimal ingredients so that I would enjoy the full flavor of the wild mushrooms. Simple? Sure, I could do that. Sauteed ‘em in bacon drippings. Can life be any simpler than warm bacon drippings?

chanterelle-bacon-blue-cheese-plum-salad-34

Okay I’m going to teach you how to cut stone fruit into nice, even wedges. The problem with stone fruit is that there is a pit in the middle. And sometimes it’s a bitch to get out without tearing up the flesh. So here’s how I do it. Listen good, because it involves a highly technical term called plum asscrack. Find the plum’s crack – STOP LAUGHING – and hold your knife parallel to the crack, about a little more than 1/4-inch to the SIDE of the asscrack. See the crack? It’s just to the left of my knife.

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Now cut. The The seat of the plum is oval-ish and cutting it this way is the most efficient method.

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Now turn the plum around to the other side and 1/4-inch to side of the plum asscrack, cut again.  Now you’ve got two nice, big, plum asscheeks.

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Cut these babies into wedges.

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Oh but we’re not done yet! That middle section with the seed? Angle your knife and cut around the seed for two more wedges.

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Can you imagine me trying to explain this process without photos? You think I was nuts!

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Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese Recipe

Adapted from scandinavian-cookbook The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann

serves 4

1/2 pound bacon, cubed
1/2 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, brushed clean and halved or quartered
salt and pepper
2 ripe plums, pitted and cut into wedges
4 cups mixed lettuce leaves (I prefer arugula)
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside. Put the bacon cubes in a large frying pan or saute pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the bacon starts cooking and crisping up, turn the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring until crisp on both sides. Remove the bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings in the pan (discard the rest of the bacon drippings). Let bacon drain on a paper towel.

2. In the same pan on medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms for 4 minutes. Push the mushrooms to one side of the frying pan. On the other side, lay the plum wedges and cook 1 minute each side. By this time, the mushrooms will have cooked through. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.

3. Assemble salad by combining the bacon, blue cheese, chanterelles, plums and lettuce. Be light and gentle. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.

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Chanterelle, Plum, Bacon Salad with Blue Cheese

Picture 1 of 11

Click through slideshow to see how I got my money shot (this photo)

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What did my co-hosts make for the Summer Fest Party?

peach-clafoutis-3 Margaret Roach of Away to Garden ditched the flour and made a super simple Peach Clafoutis, that old friend Martha Stewart taught her.

ginger-peach-pandowdy Marilyn of Simmer Til Done shows us her gorgeous Ginger Peach Pandowdy…what’s a pandowdy? Go find out!

Paige of Hey Little Sister tells us a tale about The Perils of Pie…oh the pie crisis!

mattbites_apricots Only Matt of Matt Bites can pull off an Apricot Ice Cream while RAPPING to Supersonic.

peach-cooler1-576x863 Peach Cooler! Look at those perfect peaches from White On Rice’s garden! It’s even kid friendly (sshhh…I’m adding a bit of rum to that drink!)

gluten-free-fruit-crumble While Shauna is on vacation, Margaret snuck into her blog and pulled out a Gluten Free Fruit Crumble from 2007!

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47 Responses to “Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese”

  1. Kristina — 8/4/09 @ 12:17 am

    You’re right Jaden – life is simpler and better with bacon. That salad looks so good. I love plums – so much so that we sacrificed some of our city lot to two baby plum trees this year. I can’t wait!

    Here’s my entry for this week – a buttery cornmeal cake topped with peaches:
    http://tnlocavore.typepad.com/tennessee_locavore/2009/08/drowning-in-peaches-what-a-wonderful-problem-to-have.html

  2. Chef Gwen — 8/4/09 @ 12:48 am

    Gorgeous! And pairing plums with chanterelles. Brilliant! Had every intention to make nectarine/blueberry tart until our A/C went out… made it difficult to breathe, much less cook! Will get around to it… hopefully before next week’s Greens & Beans Summer Fest.

  3. veggiebelly — 8/4/09 @ 1:08 am

    Here is my post on the easiest way to pit a peach:
    http://www.veggiebelly.com/2009/07/how-to-pit-a-peach.html

    And once youve pitted your peaches, make this super easy peach tart!
    http://www.veggiebelly.com/2009/07/easy-peach-tart.html

  4. this is not a salad. i don’t believe it. bacon and bleu. chanterelles too? send my heart aflutter.

  5. Stephanie S. — 8/4/09 @ 3:57 am

    Yay stonefruit! I posted my first Summer Fest post here:

    http://www.wasabimon.com/archive/homemade-peach-ice-cream-recipe/

    Well it’s actually a guest post, but who cares? It’s PEACH ICE CREAM!!

  6. joey — 8/4/09 @ 5:37 am

    Stone fruit isn’t grown locally here but we do get them imported and they are all over the markets and groceries now! In fact, I just made some quick jam with 2 plums and a nectarine this morning :) Easy and delicious! If I get to post it will definitely come back here with the link :)

    And speaking of imported, but off the topic of stone fruits, we just got some fresh chanterelles here! That never happens (in my lifetime? only once before…so you can imagine my excitement!). So nice to another recipe for them here! Sauteed in bacon fat…wooohooo…definitely taking notes now!

  7. Grifola frondosa — 8/4/09 @ 6:18 am

    Beautiful salad that really says summer.

    It sounds well balanced in the sweet, salty, sour, and savory catagories.

    We’ve had so much rain here in CT, that the golden chanterelles are either late or scarce (so far), but if they’re out there, I’ll find ‘em.

    I vote for pic #11.

    I can only imagine what goes during one of your photoshoots.

    Set up, fuss some more, shoot pic, swear, tweet, blog, get out the tweezers and move something around shoot pic. REPEAT.

  8. Dana McCauley — 8/4/09 @ 7:33 am

    Lovely! Last night I made an entirely Ontario salad: mache, peaches, tomatoes, basil. So great to add seasonal fruit to salads. In the winter, not so much though.

  9. Phoo-D — 8/4/09 @ 8:27 am

    What a unique combination of flavors. I can only imagine how wonderful plums and bacon would be together. Delicious!

    Here’s my contribution to the Summerfest fun- a classic cherry pie made with sour cherries.
    http://www.phoo-d.com/2009/08/classic-cherry-pie.html
    Hooray for stone fruit!

  10. Mary Coleman — 8/4/09 @ 8:44 am

    My contribution to Summer Fest is a knock your socks off nectarine salad with fresh thyme and cream sherry that with a bit more sugar becomes Nectarine Ice Cream.
    It’s a win win situation!

    click on the link!

    http://feedinggroom.blogspot.com/2009/07/nectarines-with-fresh-thyme-and-cream.html

  11. Rosy — 8/4/09 @ 8:47 am

    I’m always on the look out for interesting salads and plums are one of my faves. As shown in my post this week! http://www.rosylipsandlavender.com/2009/08/summer-fest-spiced-red-plum-ginger-and.html. Thank you for the recipe, will definitely be giving it a go soon. Rosy x

  12. Marjorie — 8/4/09 @ 8:58 am

    This salad looks beautiful. You can’t go wrong with bacon, blue cheese and chanterelles!

    In honor of this week’s Summer Fest theme, I have two posts to share.

    http://marjorietaylor.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/07/apricot-confiture.html
    http://marjorietaylor.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/06/rustic-apricot-tart.html

  13. Margaret Roach — 8/4/09 @ 9:57 am

    As always, I am blown away by how much visual delight you pack into one post (not to mention how much, um, *bacon*).

    Thank you for being such a great collaborator; your readers who have visited me the last week are very well-behaved, by the way, which I attribute to the advice just above your comments form: “Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.” Ha!

    And vegetarian me over here will have to leave out the bacon, but I’ll put it in the portion I am serving to my guest this weekend, promise.

  14. What a great salad, I love the use of bacon and blue cheese with the sweet fruit! Here is my entry for this week of Summer Fest, I make this Simple Almond Cake with tree fruits all the time. In this example it is made with rhubarb (not a tree fruit), but is delicious when made with chopped plums, apples or peaches. Happy Summer! http://www.thenaptimechef.com/2009/05/napping-in-rhubarb-patch.html

  15. Kristin — 8/4/09 @ 10:04 am

    This looks amazing. I always get a craving for salads with fruit in them in the summer.

  16. I always love chanterelles, but I never get such beautiful specimens as you have! And thank you, thank you, thank you for the ass crack method. You have saved untold numbers of plums from mutilation.

  17. Danielle — 8/4/09 @ 10:24 am

    Oh, the “plum asscrack” bit made me grin. I’ve never been able to not think of it that way, myself!

    I cheated a bit with my week 2 post, which is over here at: http://jekyllian.blogspot.com/2009/08/fruits-failures.html

  18. Jaden, how jealous am I that you managed you sneak bacon into your tree fruit? I love this savory contribution to Summer Fest – and your typically gorgeous photos make me want this for lunch. Now. Off I go to forage for mushrooms – the bacon, plums and cheese are easy to find. What a terrific salad!

  19. Jen H — 8/4/09 @ 11:11 am

    I just caught up on this whole Summer Fest thing and am so happy I had already made this delicious Peach & Radish Salsa

    http://piccantedolce.blogspot.com/2009/08/peach-radish-salsa.html

  20. Jackie — 8/4/09 @ 11:36 am

    Great flavor combination. I’m enamored with the idea of plums and bacon – I might try that with some sort of sweet/savory tart.

  21. Rebekka — 8/4/09 @ 11:40 am

    Oh, my goodness. I can imagine bacon + plums being the most SCRUMPTIOUS take on the classic pork+fruit combination. Delicious.

  22. I’m always looking for interesting salads and this one definitely caught my attention. Yes, looks veeeerrrry good.
    Here’s a recipe I posted a few days ago–A Roasted Apricot Tartlette. It’s really easy, since the dough has 3 ingredients, and you can use any stone fruit. I paired it with ginger ice cream for an elegant dessert. Check it out here:
    http://www.pastrypal.com/2009/07/25/apricots-tamed/

  23. Cheryl Arkison — 8/4/09 @ 12:55 pm

    Holy freakin’ gawd that looks good. I know what I’m making when I get my CSA greens this week.

    I myself made sour cherry hand pies. Nothing earth shattering, but it was the first time I’ve ever seen sour cherries in our markets. Cause for celebration!
    http://backseatgourmet.blogspot.com/2009/08/taste-adventure-sour-cherries.html

  24. Ravenouscouple — 8/4/09 @ 2:41 pm

    We made Peaches and Berries Flambe with rum and served it with vanilla bean ice cream! Thanks for a great idea to share these recipes!

  25. Diana — 8/4/09 @ 3:01 pm

    Mmmm, bacon and plums, great combination. I had a hard time picking a post for this summer fest, I use a lot of fruit. I was going to share cherry rhubarb skillet pie, but I think the hot weather we’re having calls for some sweet and tangy cherry limeade.
    http://dianasaurdishes.com/07/refreshing-cherry-limeade-and-tastecasting-seattle/
    Loving SummerFest!

  26. the salad looks divine and love the unusual combination. here’s my 2 cents on stone fruit:

    http://thecosmiccowgirl.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/nectarine-and-mascarpone-tart/

  27. Heather @ chik n' pastry — 8/4/09 @ 3:37 pm

    Alright – I unfortunately just read this and am already behind. Crikey! I did however, just post a recipe for a Nectarine Pie w/ Creme Fraiche icecream, so luckily it still fits the criteria!

    I’ll definitely participate next week. Already have a dish in mind! And great salad – anything with bacon is nice, and the chanterelles and plums just add to the fun!

  28. Hey Jaden, I love the combo of the earthy mushrooms and the lightly caramelized plums. The pepper in the arugula would have worked brilliantly too for sure.
    I found some beautiful pluots, plums and cherries in the farmers market and this is what I did with them.
    http://thehealthyirishman.com/2009/08/pecan-crusted-turkey-with-cherry-pluot-compote/
    See you next week!

  29. OK, I’m fudging a bit on the tree fruit theme, but it’s the height of blueberry season in Michigan and I make a blueberry tart with lime curd and a gingersnap crust:
    http://www.rustickitchen.com/blog/?p=202

  30. RobbingPeter — 8/4/09 @ 10:59 pm

    Mushrooms & plums are not something I would have thought to put together, but it sounds great!

    For my entry into SummerFest I recounted the PeachFest celebration my mother and I conducted with a day long canning extravaganza. You can read about it and see the results here:

    Can’t wait for next month.

  31. Yowzers! David to the generous rescue again with his amazing products! And Jaden to the mastermind behind the kitchen…..WE WANTS THIS LOTS OF IT NOW. This dish brings a whole new dimension and meaning to salads!! It smells great all the way from over here…

  32. MrSaladDressing — 8/5/09 @ 6:43 am

    You had me at bacon and blue cheese, and then you added balsamic vinegar. The combination of flavors makes this salad awesome.

    Thanks for mentioning chanterelles. I think they are so often overlooked, and it is great to see them featured in this salad (with great pictures, too).

  33. Julie — 8/5/09 @ 1:40 pm

    WOW – brilliant! I would never have thought of that combination of ingredients.. and I was just admiring some fresh chanterelles at the market yesterday!

    I can’t believe the fantastic recipes people are offering up!

    I’ve got some stone fruit plans this week, but one of my favourite peach recipes of the past year is Peach Pie with Roasted Peach Ice Cream – http://tinyurl.com/l4umn9 (That was last summer – this summer I tried Roasted Plum Ice Cream and strongly recommend it!)

    My grandma and aunts used to eat slices of fresh peach straight up – on top of buttered bread. http://tinyurl.com/lovhe2

    And another of my favourite recipes of all time is brilliant made with any number of stone fruits – Plum Browned Butter Bliss – http://tinyurl.com/l8b9ry – is fruit topped with a crusty, golden cakey topping that’s better than cobbler, easier than pie!

  34. Jennifer Hess — 8/5/09 @ 2:08 pm

    Hi Jaden – great looking salad, and your photos, as always, are a wow.

    I also did a salad for this week’s Summer Fest, which you can find here:
    http://www.lastnightsdinner.net/2009/08/04/summer-fruit-salad/

    Cheers!

  35. Deborah — 8/6/09 @ 5:47 am

    How pretty is that salad! I would never have thought of that combination myself but it looks wonderful.

    One of my favorite desserts that is too easy to call a recipe is my Apricot Tart at http://tinyurl.com/l82uun Keep the ingredients on hand and when you have unexpected company they will think you are an amazing cook. Just don’t give them the “recipe” when they ask!

    Another summer favorite using peaches is my Almond Stuffed Peach recipe at http://tinyurl.com/lxk9jd

    You just HAVE to love summer fruit!

    Deborah

  36. sandra — 8/6/09 @ 8:36 am

    What a gorgeous and original salad!!! Chanterelles are so good!
    As I’m more of a dessert girl, I chose to turn soft and sweet apricots into a fancy dessert:

    http://sandrakavital.blogspot.com/2009/08/poelee-dabricots-en-gratin-de-sabayon.html

  37. Mary — 8/6/09 @ 12:25 pm

    I want salad now. Heah! The picture does great for my “diet”. Now maybe I’ll eat a salad instead of a cheeseburger.

  38. Stephanie — 8/6/09 @ 5:19 pm

    OMG, there are so many comments here. I’ll all the way down at the bottom! ;)

    I just posted a new peach recipe for Summer Fest – Peach Elderberry Jam:

    http://bit.ly/9twgo

    I’ve love to know what you think.

  39. Persian Kitchen — 8/7/09 @ 9:23 pm

    I love your pictures Jaden. The money shot is awesome!

    This week I present to you Persian Lime Drops!

    http://mypersiankitchen.com/?p=858

  40. Janice — 8/8/09 @ 1:15 pm

    Everything is better with bacon! And plums with chanterelles! I’ll definitely have to try it! Also love the cutting the pit right out of the plum. I usually cut down the middle, twist the halves apart and then find myself wrestling with the pit in one half!
    Weather has cooled down up here in BC, so I ended up baking Rainier Cherry tarts http://realfoodmadeeasy.ca/blog/?p=569

  41. Leon Gregory — 8/9/09 @ 6:07 am

    Thanks a lot! I’m also a gourmet and pastry enthusiast and this would really go to my compilation. I would also like to share. I came across a good site about European and Swiss cooking which also gives free sample family-secret recipes.

  42. justcooknyc — 8/9/09 @ 9:34 am

    i love that salty sweet combination

  43. Julie — 8/10/09 @ 2:43 pm

    The asscrack method! I love it and it makes so much sense. Just like cubing a mango. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks Jaden!

  44. Sarah — 9/2/09 @ 9:31 pm

    Just finished eating this and it was divine. For even more deliciousness, toss in a handful of chopped toasted pecans once the salad is dished out. Perfection!

  45. Jaimie Dee — 9/6/10 @ 11:24 am

    Lol I LOVE bacon!!!! And you’re right, there is not substitute for it. Turkey bacon just doesn’t quite cut it… BUT there’s an alternate type of bacon that’s still pig, but it’s actualy healthier than the regular stuff, and I think the taste is quite close, and it’s quite comprable to turkey bacon in nutritional facts. Center cut bacon!!! Apparently it’s cut from a different part of the pig that’s supposedly better for you. Just an idea to look into if you hadn’t already! :) Great photography work btw.

  46. wypadek drogowy — 12/29/11 @ 4:26 pm

    Ich möchte Ihnen für diese Hinweise danken. Sie sind sehr nützlich.

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