It only takes a walk through a fruit and vegetable market to marvel at the colours, shapes, aromas and textures that can be found in the rows of neatly arranged fruit. If you scratch the vibrant surfaces, there is a abundance of nutritional benefits to be had from the juicy produce. But all too often, fruits purchased in a rush of healthful zeal are left neglected or just chopped and eaten as a snack. People quickly tire of its one dimensional flavour and texture.
But there is so much more that you can do with fruits beyond the boring fruit salad. Here are some of our favorite ways to make the most of each season’s fruit:
Cups of Colour
A cup full of perfectly cut up fruit in a variety of hues all tied up together with a surprising dressing is a great snack! It looks amazing, can be made in advance and full of immunity boosting phytonutrients too. The trick to making the most of fruits is to play off its natural flavour and texture with some tang, some heat or some crunch. So pair dark blueberry orbs with verdant green mint leaves honey and scooped out chilled watermelon balls in a glass. Or combine the best of stone fruits like peaches, plums and cherries with a thyme-ginger infused dressing. Dress diced mangoes, papayas, pineapples with coconut milk, lemon juice & caster sugar all whisked together for bright & fresh treat.
An interesting way to showcase the colours and shapes of fruits is in a summer roll. It’s a play on the Vietnamese classic rice paper rolls where instead of the usual herbs, finely julienned fruits take centre stage. It’s a visually attractive way to get kids to try new fruits and offer guests a refreshing, light and gluten free snack. To make this, dip rice paper rolls in hot water. Lay the softened sheet on a flat surface and arrange matchstick sized fruit like green apples, pears, orange segments or strawberry slices. Tightly roll and serve as is or with a simple orange & honey dip.
Roast ‘Em Right
Fruits like pineapples, mangoes, figs, pears, peaches, grapes are juicy and full of natural sugars that caramelize beautifully when roasted on a low heat. This process cooks down the fruit juices till each mouthful has an intense fruit flavour. You can toss up these concentrated morsels of fruit with a lemon juice or creamy mascarpone cheese for a luxurious salad. Add a dollop of soft chocolate ganache on roasted pears for a comforting dessert.
All Puffed Up
Fruit and sheets of buttery puff pastry go really well together. There is no end to the possibilities with these two ingredients. The pastry crisps up to create a delicious receptacle for the fruit. Here’s an idea, arrange strawberry or fig halves on a rectangle of puff pastry and bake till golden and flaky. Drizzle some spiced honey and serve for an indulgent fruit-y treat! Or wrap half a peach cheek in a square of puff pastry and bake till crisp. Drizzle with a rum caramel sauce for a dessert that captures all the amazing qualities of the stone fruit.
If, inspite of all the above ideas you still are left with fast ripening fruit, place it all in a large saucepan with some sugar and cook it down into a sauce you can use all through the year over desserts like pound cake, ice cream, panna cotta or tarts.