This post was sponsored by the California Dried Plum Board. Although I was compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own.
A couple weeks ago, I headed down to Napa, California to learn all about California Prunes. It was such a great trip filled with new friends, delicious food, lots of learning, and of course there was wine (it was Napa after all).
During our trip, we headed to the Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA) to meet with prune growers and chefs. One of our adventures of the day was to make our own prune recipes in a timed challenge. In my group, my responsibility was to make a sauce which included prunes, and it was so delicious that I felt it was my duty to share this dipping sauce with you. Seriously, this is the best dipping sauce ever, and can be used with a variety of items.
- ½ cup prunes
- Juice from 1 large orange
- ¼ cup Pomegranate molasses
- ¼ cup Tarragon Vinegar
- ¾ cup Water
- ¾ cup Olive oil
- Add the prunes to a high powered blender
- Add in the liquid ingredients
- Blend, starting on low and working up to high
- If needed, add additional water 1 Tablespoon at a time for desired consistency.
Before we did our food challenge, we first did a tasting with prunes to get ideas of what sort of flavors go with the prunes. This tasting had a wide variety of items, from sweet to savory, and definitely some unexpected items. Some of my favorites included ginger, caramelized miso, and feta cheese. I did opt to skip out on the anchovy and olive pairing. This pairing activity definitely helped us when we headed into the cooking challenge because it gave us some ideas of what sort of flavors would go well with our prunes.
For this dipping sauce at home, I opted to use some baguette chips and meat balls for the dipping utensils. I probably could eat this entire bowl, it is that good. I will definitely be making it for our next party, and I will probably enjoy forcing my guests to guess the included ingredients (pretty sure they will never guess there are prunes!).
Prunes have a sweet taste which are pretty easy to simply munch on, but they also have health benefits! Prune puree can be used to add moisture and reduce sugar content of recipes, are high in fiber, plus they contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.
All prunes are plums, but not all plums can be prunes; this is because only the Improved French Plum has the correct sugar content and attributes to become a good prune. Prunes go through quite the process before they reach the end customer. They are harvested, washed, and initially dried for 18 hours before they go into a final drying process for a couple months. This process is so worth it because they are quite tasty at the end (spoiler alert: they were also tasty when we ate them straight from the tree, and right after they came out of the initial drying process).
Next time you are at the grocery store, add a bag (or two) of California prunes to your cart and learn more on the California Prunes Facebook page.