Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese

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 surprised me with a pound of beautiful trumpet-shaped Michigan chanterelles.


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


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?


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.


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


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.


Cut these babies into wedges.


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.


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


Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese Recipe

Adapted from scandinavian-cookbookThe 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

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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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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Comments 47

  1. Chef Gwen

    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.

  2. joey

    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!

  3. Grifola frondosa

    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.

  4. Dana McCauley

    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.

  5. Margaret Roach

    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.

  6. Laura [What I Like]

    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.

  7. marilyn @ simmer till done

    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!

  8. Jackie

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

  9. Rebekka

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

  10. Heather @ chik n' pastry

    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!

  11. RobbingPeter

    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.

  12. White On Rice Couple

    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…

  13. MrSaladDressing

    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).

  14. Julie

    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 – (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.

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

  15. Deborah

    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 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

    You just HAVE to love summer fruit!


  16. Mary

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

  17. Janice

    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

  18. Julie

    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!

  19. Sarah

    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!

  20. Jaimie Dee

    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.


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