1/2 cup water

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons sugar, divided

10 black peppercorns

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

12 small unpeeled plums (about 31/2 pounds)

2 rosemary sprigs

Rosemary sprigs (optional)



1. Preheat oven to 400°.


2. Combine 1/2 cup water, vinegar, 4 tablespoons sugar, and peppercorns, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to vinegar mixture. Place plums in an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour vinegar mixture over plums. Nestle 2 rosemary sprigs around plums in vinegar mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.


3. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until plums are tender (skin will begin to split on some plums).


4. Remove plums with a slotted spoon to a serving platter. Strain vinegar mixture into a small nonaluminum saucepan; discard solids. Bring vinegar mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 5 minutes). Pour syrup evenly over plums; garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired. YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 2 plums and about 2 tablespoons syrup).


CALORIES 141; FAT 1g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 1.1g; CARB 34.6g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.2mg; SODIUM 5mg; CALC 6mg