(This and all over blog recipes can also be found on our recipe archive page, "Here's Linkin' at You, Kid.")
Kiwi is one of those items that have rarely made their way into my kitchen, and I'm not sure why. Their taste, fragrance and texture reminds me of nothing so much as strawberries, which I do love, but which can be difficult to find truly ripe and intensely-flavored. The fragrance is in fact a bit more subtle than strawberries with floral as well as fruity top-notes. So why have I ignored them for so long? Is it their year-round ubiquity at the co-op, unlike red starkrimson pears, cherries, blueberries, persimmons, etc: items whose season and availability always ends too soon? Is it their thoroughly unprepossessing exterior appearance - a hairy fruit? Those dark, follicle-coated little ovals don't exactly pop out and scream at you, as they sit in the produce section, "BUY ME!" the way more brightly-colored oranges and berries and apples do. And yet, we do have them at the co-op year round, so apparently - a lot of our customers have heard the siren call and discovered the pleasures under those ugly surfaces, so I've got some catching up to do. To that end I bought a couple of kiwi at the co-op the other day, along with blueberries, bosc pears and mandarins, with no particular plan in mind. I can't stop myself from buying up fat handfuls of blueberries and several bosc pears every time I'm in the store lately; unlike the kiwi, they are not avaiable year-round.
This is so easy you don't need a strict recipe, but let's give it a crack anyway. You can change ingredients around to suit your liking as well as seasonal availability. With both the kiwi and the pears, select ripe fruit that yields slightly to the touch with gentle pressure but are not mushy or soft; with the bosc pears, look for skins that are more brown rather than green. As there are several types of oranges and citrus at the co-op right now, you could try a hamlin orange, a blood orange, or a tangelo in place of the mandarin; you want a variety that is juicy, sweet and intensely flavored. (If you try limes or lemons instead, be sure to adjust the sweetener or the blueberries in the sauce to balance the sourness.)
Kiwi, Blueberry and Pear Fruit Salad, with Blueberry-Orange Sauce
2 ripe kiwi, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then sliced
1 cup (approx) ripe (or thawed frozen) blueberries, divided into halves
1 ripe (but not overripe) bosc pear, cut into bite-size chunks, skin left on
1-2 small mandarin oranges or other juicy, sweet orange (such as blood orange or red cara cara), tangelo or tangerine, cut in half, plus grated zest
2 T - 1/8 cup dark (Grade B preferable) maple syrup and/or agave nectar (I used blue agave but any variety should work, esp if combined with the maple syrup)
powdered coriander to taste (optional)
pecans or walnuts, toasted, whole or broken in to pieces, for topping (optional)
Put prepared kiwi slices into a bowl with half of the blueberries and the pear chunks. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the mandarin orange over the fruit and lightly sprinkle ground coriander on top, as well as some freshly grated orange zest if desired; toss all ingredients gently. Drizzle with Blueberry-Orange Sauce (below); if desired, top with toasted pecans or walnuts just before serving. Serves 2 as a dessert or side-dish (or breakfast, lunch, etc...) You can substitute or add other fruits according to availability and preference, such as strawberries, bananas, etc.
In a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl smash approximately 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberries with a fork, then squeeze juice and pulp from other half of the orange into cup, and some fresh orange zest. Add a couple of tablespoons of the maple syrup and/or agave, and a dash of coriander if desired, and mix thoroughly, continuing to smash blueberries if they are not already soft and broken-down. (Show them no mercy, my friend, no matter how much it hurts.)
Put the cup or bowl with the sauce in the microwave and heat on low 1-2 minutes, stirring as necessary. Sauce should be not overly-sweet or gummy, and have a rich, deep blue-ish ruby-red color. You can strain out the blueberry skins but I prefer to leave them in; they add to flavor and color. The sauce thickens very quickly as it cools into an almost jelly-like consistency; if you want it to be a little thinner, simply squeeze in a bit more of the orange juice and stir. There will be more sauce than you need for the fruit salad, so store any left over in refrigerator.
Note: If you don’t wish to make the sauce from scratch, try adding orange zest and juice to blueberry jam, instead.
/recipe-archive.htmlPrintable pdf files of the recipes on this blog can be found on our Recipe Archive Page.
Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.