Last eve, Sophie and I had the pleasure of dining with two members of her extended family. I have been visiting West London at least yearly for 10 years now and have had the great pleasure of dining in Clare and David’s home each time I have visited. Clare is a highly accomplished chef, who like me, seems to take pleasure in making delicious and interesting meals that meet her guests dietary preferences. In my case, whole foods and entirely plant-based.
After a, dare I say stiff, gin and tonic made with Fever Tree Tonic (so good!) and some sort of fancy gin, some snacks and some delightful conversation we headed into the kitchen dining room for supper.
Clare had made (with David as sous chef), rice and herb stuffed tomatoes, hearty white beans, and a colorful mixed vegetable dish. This later dish was prepared using a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe for “ratatouille.” It came with a disclaimer that it wasn’t really a ratatouille and that the recipe’s directions were overly complicated. Nonetheless, this and the other two dishes were delicious. And should they make the dish again with fewer cooking steps, I feel confident it will be every bit as yummy.
I woke up dreaming of plums. After the main course, we were also treated to a lovely pudding (dessert ;).
It was baked plums with a pastry topping. Basically, a plum pie without the bottom crust. I never think to cook with plums and I love them. I was remembering to our hosts, enjoying eating canned little black plums as a child and tween. I loved them, we called them canned prune plums. I haven’t seen these on the grocery store shelves for years. Have any of you? I suspect they were canned in heavy syrup, which is out of style now. Maybe that is why they are absent (or uncommon).
I also liked the idea of only a top crust for a fruit-pie-like dessert. I have recently had a difficult time with soggy bottom crusts on grape and peach pies. She used a little cup like item to support the center of the crust (see photo).