What to do when you’re really, really cold and don’t want to eat cold fruit? Cook it!  We’re into hot cider weather here, and I’m finding that I’m really attracted to cooked fruit after a summer of cherries, melon, and raspberries galore. Plums are finishing up here, but you might be able to still find some if you look hard enough.

Freestone plums are the ones that the pits practically slide out of– these were “Stanley,” specifically, but other varieties are available. They are well-worth searching for if you’re going to use them often. I generally prefer to use the European, aka prune, plums for cooking, whether in baked goods or savory dishes.

This is a lovely ultra-simple side dish, very colorful, that goes well beside any number of things. Use it to dress up a simple grilled cheese or scrambled egg sandwich, or serve beside a hearty rice burger or beneath a delicate piece of fish.

Pan-fried Plums and Carrots

Serves 1-2

Splash of canola oil, butter, or olive oil
4-6 prune plums (freestone ones are the easiest to pit)
1-2 carrots
Tarragon, to taste

Slice the carrots diagonally. Heat a sauté pan or griddle over medium low hear, and coat lightly with oil. Add the carrots, and stir briefly. Pit and cut the plums into halves or quarters.(Stir the carrots as needed while preparing the plums.) Add plums to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums soften and start to caramelize. Stir in the tarragon, and cook for another 30 seconds. Serve hot.