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Fruit Salad with Basil Honey Lime Dressing

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

To me, Passover, or Pesach, is all about tradition. I’ve never actually hosted the holiday in my own home, but I imagine that when I do, I’ll be making the same foods that my mother always made.

I have fond memories of my mom’s Passover ratatouille, mock chopped liver, beet salad and cucumber salad all neatly arranged in mason jars on the door of the fridge. She always had big jars of simple syrup on the counter, which she used to sweeten everything from chicken to fish, meat and nuts. Towards the second days, when everyone had enough of the heavy meals, she always diced up a huge fruit salad in our giant glass Pyrex. And she doused it in simple syrup too.

The simple syrup didn’t bother me, especially as a kid, because the fruit tasted like candy. But the bananas – they just threw the whole thing off. There were never really rules to what went into the fruit salad – it was whatever was leftover around the house – but it almost always had melon, kiwi, sliced bananas, walnuts, and oranges.

There was always someone in the house who was walking around scratching their throat from one of the fruits – probably the kiwi, and I think it was usually my sister. But we still ate it – bananas, oranges and all – and we sipped up all those sweet drippings from the bottom of the bowl like they were liquid gold. Ah, Passover memories.

While everyone is busy preparing trays of Passover brownies, whipping up macaroons and fancy pavlovas – I’m here to say that it’s really just about the tradition. Fruit salad may be simple, but it’s what my Momma always made, and it’s what I plan to make when I host Passover in my home in the coming years.

For this recipe, I’ve done away with all the fruits that I picked out of my Mom’s fruit salad – the awful mushy bananas, pithy oranges, and throat-scratching kiwi’s. Instead, I used melons, mangos, plums and nectarines, and fancied it up with a basil honey lime dressing (a lot healthier and more flavorful than the simple syrup of my youth!). Feel free to adjust this salad to your liking – adding more lime juice for extra tartness, or more honey for extra sweetness. And you can also switch up the herbs with some fresh mint instead of basil, if you so desire. Don’t forget to top it off with some coconut whipped cream and chopped nuts to really take it over the top!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very fruitful and happy Passover!

Other Passover Desserts:

marzipan apple crisp
nutella banana ice cream
chocolate ganache tart with macaroon crust
raspberry sorbet

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Black Grape & Plum Compote

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

My husband and I can’t seem to figure out if we actually save money at Costco. We usually end up buying things we don’t need (or have space for) with money we don’t have. The truth is, I figure it’s worth buying paper towels (my guilty pleasure), tissues, napkins and such in bulk. But when I start to venture down the forbidden aisles – like the produce, I’m in trouble. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff looks delicious. But I don’t have a family of 10, it’s not Pesach, and I don’t need an entire carton of apples!

Alas, here are my top three things to avoid when heading to Costco:

#1 Don’t go to Costco hungry
#2 Dont go to Costco with your kids (or else you’ll end up buying them toys and books that they don’t need just to calm them down).
#3 Don’t go to Costco without a shopping list. Prepare a list in advance and buy ONLY what is on that list.

Why am I going on and on about Costco? Well, for starters, I did not follow cardinal rule #1 and I went to Costco hungry. Thankfully, I did not buy that humungous bag of chips to snack on, but rather, I loaded my cart up with cartons of California prunes (fancy plums) and black grapes. Then I got home. And I looked in the fridge. And I realized. I. Have. No. Room. For. Cartons. Of. Costco. Fruit. Enter this trusty compote recipe and problem averted :)

This crimson compote is intoxicatingly delicious, not to mention beautiful to look at. Because the grapes are so sweet, I avoided adding any more sugar. Instead, I used some Moscato wine which added a delicious fruity flavor. You can serve this up by the cup, ladle over pound cake, or spoon over ice cream.

 

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Fruit Skewers with Dipping Sauce

Sunday, July 17th, 2011


Fruit skewers are a fun and easy way to serve fruit. It’s also a great activity to do with kids. If you really want to get crafty, you can use cookie cutters to cut the melon into different shapes for an over-the-top presentation. For a quick and easy fix, just cut melon into cubes (the more uniform the pieces, the better it will look). You can also use a melon baller to make circles, or come up with your own unique patterns and designs. Feel free to use the fruits that you enjoy.

Here are some suggestions:

watermelon
honeydew
cantaloupe
pineapple
kiwi
mango
grapes
starfruit (this looks really pretty on the skewers)
strawberries
blueberries
raspberries
blackberries
cherries

If you’d like to grill the fruit skewers, here are some fruit that work well on the grill:

pineapple (probably the most popular grilled fruit)
peaches
apricots
figs

Some less popular grilled fruits include:

bananas
apples
pears
papaya
mango
nectarines

If you’d like, you can serve a sauce to go alongside. The easiest accompaniment is yogurt, like I have pictured here. Here are some other suggestions:

flavored yogurts
plain yogurt mixed with honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, jams, citrus or mint
strawberry basil sauce (frozen strawberries in syrup, pureed in blender with a few basil leaves)
spiked sauce (rum or tequila with lemon or lime juice and honey or sugar)
whipped cream (you can add some citrus zest to it)
dark or white chocolate sauce
chocolate or vanilla pudding

To serve the skewers, here are some suggestions:

– serve on a platter
– serve in a tall vase
– stick into rind of a watermelon
– stick into a halved pineapple or canteloupe
– stick into styrofoam
– make sure the top fruit is flat (cubed) and serve standing up on a platter


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