Tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables/fruits currently increase my inflammation and pain levels so I’m always looking for alternatives. Last week I made an Italian plum based barbecue sauce that tasted surprisingly like tomato based sauces so I decided to experiment. I have an almost endless supply of plums this time of year thanks to my parents trees so I brought home a bucket of them along with onion and celery from their garden.
The sauce turned out much better than I expected. It looks and tastes more like a classic tomato sauce than the beet based sauce I’ve used in the past. My basic recipe is below, but be aware that I canned this sauce so the recipe makes 4-5 quarts. Ingredient amounts were approximated and will likely need to be adjusted based on the sweetness of the plums you’re using. To cut down the sweetness enough to mimic tomato sauce I used salt preserved lemons I made months ago. Lemon zest and additional salt may be used as an alternative. Be aware that excessive consumption of plums in any form can have a laxative effect.
9-10lbs plums, washed and pitted
1/2 cup white or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, rough chopped
1 large onion, rough chopped
1 preserved lemon, seeds removed
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1-2 Tbs salt
Combine all ingredients except salt in a large stock pot or slow cooker. Simmer on low until onions and celery are cooked through and plums are broken down, stirring frequently. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Add salt and adjust seasoning or acid to suit your taste. Simmer further until the sauce reaches your desired consistency and flavor. Serve over your favorite pasta or pasta alternative and freeze or hot water bath can the remainder of the sauce.