Monday, 5 January 2009

Summer Fruit Salad, Darling!

I had a shopping trip to Prahran Market just after Christmas. I haven’t managed to get out to markets a lot lately so it was a bit of a treat, especially with all the gorgeous summer fruit about.

Markets are so much more friendly than supermarkets but this makes it harder to stay aloof when making decisions about what to buy. Make eye contact with the man selling 650g cherries for $5 and it is hard to say no. Alright, I didn’t want to. I love cherries and couldn’t resist a bargain even if I am not naturally inclined to buy so many. And there were blood plums which I have fond memories of eating as a child but don’t see many good ones about. I like their dark colour, their suggestive name and their tart flavour. Even better is the suggestive sell at the counters is punnets of cheap berries rather than chocolate bars – I don’t usually go for the chocolate bars but raspberries at $3 for a 150g punnet is hard to walk by. But the most curious were all the men selling fruit at the stall kept calling me ‘darling’! (I feel like looking behind me and then asking, ‘you talking to me?’) As I said, markets are full of friendly folk.

By the time I got home, my fruit bowl was overflowing, thanks to my enthusiastic purchasing at the market. The fruit needed to be used. Inspired by the red fruit salad I made last year, I returned to my dessert cookbook for ideas. I didn’t find quite the recipe I was after but had enough ideas. I made the loveliest summer fruit salad.

I love stone fruit and berries and wish they featured in more fruit salads. It remains a mystery to me as to why so many fruit salads are full of melons. I don’t mind apples, bananas, orange, pineapple, kiwi fruit and passionfruit which are commonly found in fruit salad. But melons!!! I have heard that there are people who love melons but I cannot understand why. Hence it difficult for me to find a pleasing fruit salad and all the more reason to relish those that I make at home in summer.

E ate very little of the fruit salad. All the more for me! I gobbled up a large bowl with no accompaniments, although I know some would prefer it with a dollop of yoghurt, cream or marscapone. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t have room for a mince tart when E had one.

I thought it was worth also a quick mention of the pizza that we had for dinner that night, after some foraging in the fridge. I had bought a large wheel of Turkish bread at the market which I used as a pizza base (although you could make a pizza base like I did last year). I made a lovely pizza of parsnip, broccoli and gruyere cheese. I have written out what I did below as a reminder. We were quite happy with this after a large lunch but it wasn’t quite enough the next night when we had just been delicately snacking through the day. However it didn’t need a salad when we had a large helping of healthy fruit salad afterwards!

Summer Fruit Salad
Serves 3-4

200g cherries, pitted
100g raspberries
2 nectarines, diced
2 blood plums, diced
1 tbsp agave nectar
Juice of half a lime
Leaves of 1 sprig of mint, chopped

Mix together, eat and swoon!

Parsnip, Broccoli and Gruyere Pizza
Serves 2 -4

⅔ of wheel of Turkish bread
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
½ carrot, peeled and chopped
Splash or two of milk
Seasoning
⅔ head of broccoli, finely chopped
1 tomato, halved and thinly sliced
½ shallot, finely sliced
100g gruyere cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 230 C.

Cook parsnips and carrots together in microwave or on stovetop till soft. Mash with milk and seasoning. Lightly microwave or steam broccoli.

Spread Turkish bread with parsnip mash. Scatter with tomato slices, then broccoli, then shallots and then cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes or til cheese is melted and golden brown.

On the Stereo:
How he loved the moon: Current 93

12 comments:

  1. Your salad sound heavenly, darling! I'm not a huge fan of melons, either, but am happy to have a little in a gorgeous fruit salad such as this. Will have to wait until our summer, I guess!

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  2. I have to admit that I'm a big lover of melon myself, but I would definitely have appreciated your fruit salad melon or no melon! What an interesting idea for a pizza topping, too - I've never thought of mashing root veggies to go on top but I bet it went well with the tasty cheese.

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  3. I love both these idea johanna! Your fruit salad looks luscious, and i'm always on the lookout for pizza topping ideas. I hadn't come across the concept of a mash instead of of a tomato paste type spread, but I love it and can't wait to try it. I'm just going to wait for the temp to tip down below 30 again before i do!

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  4. Mmmm that fruit salad looks delectable! I wish I could eat a bowl of fruit without it hurting my belly :(

    And I agree, I like melon, but so many fruit salads are 90% watermelon!

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  5. I can't stand watermelon or rockmelon (even the smell)I pretty much only make fruit salad at home as everyone - everywhere *slight exaggeration* seems to think that it is an essential part.
    Your salad however, looks delicious!!
    Now to convince the rest of the world that melons are evil....

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  6. Happy New Year, darlin'!

    I think I know just the blokes you mention. Lovely fellows. That market? I love it eve more than The Queen Vic herself.

    Just got back from there with, among many other bits and pieces, a bag of cherries myself. Aren't they beautiful? Right now, they're better than they were before Christmas.

    Actually, I quite like melons. In a way. The day must be boiling hot and the melon freezing cold and they musn't be in my salad.

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  7. That fruit salad looks great! I must confess that I am a big fan of melons, especially watermelon. However this weekend I found myself laden with stone fruit, the apricots out here are fantastic right now.

    I am intrigued by the idea of broccoli on pizza.

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  8. Thanks Ricki, darling :-) this is the fruit salad I dream about in winter so wish I could send you a big bowl of the stuff!

    Thanks Lysy - you probably find it easier to find a pleasing fruit salad - and as for mashing root vegies for pizza - I got the idea from a carrot pizza that has long fascinated me in one of my cookbooks (I think a sarah brown)

    thanks Frances - baking pizza is not for hot weather (unless it is takeaway or in a mud oven in the backyard) Re the mash - I was pleased for an easy way to use up the last of the Christmas parsnips

    Thanks Vegetation - how sad such beautiful fruit hurts your belly - I hope you can eat it in small amounts at least!

    Thanks Catherine - my theory on the ubiquitous melon in fruit salad is that it is cheap which just makes me cross - glad to share a nice melon-free salad with you!

    Thanks Lucy - happy new year - I am sure I would visit the prahran market more if it was closer to me - it does have great food! And yes cherries are fantastic at the moment - even the handful from the supermarket on the weekend was wonderful! And I have learnt to eat a little watermelon on the odd occasion but not in fruit salad

    Thanks AVAT - of all melons I understand watermelon the best because the colour is lovely - I have just made apricot chutney because I wanted to make the most of them but was hard not to eat them raw - got the idea for broccoli on pizza from a fab pizza place I no longer live so close to! sigh!

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  9. That salad is making me lustful, especially in this heat! Delicious!

    I've never thought of putting parsnip on pizza, thanks for the tip :)

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  10. Oh I'm jealous of all your fresh summer fruit! All I have right now are apples and oranges.

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  11. Happy new year - and congratulations, I've picked you as one of five bloggers to whom I can pass on the A Hoy award. This post is another classic example of how everything you do is colourful, innovative or both. See either of those links for the rules if you would like to pass this along.

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  12. Thanks Lorraine - hot days make me crave fruit! hope the heat isn't too unbearable for you

    Thanks Ashley - sorry not to be able to share the bounty of summer fruit - hope you are enjoying your winter warming soups and baking til your fruit availablility improves!

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