Yesterday’s trip to the vibrant and appetizing Farmer’s Market (at 3rd and Fairfax), resulted in my bringing home a bounty of wonderful tropical fruit. The vivid colours and distinct appearance make it a visually stunning still life, and the aroma is astonishing – sweet, sugary, intoxicating. However, never having bought most of these ‘exotic’ fruit before, I find myself in a predicament. Thanks to an insightful conversation with a rather bemused assistant, I do at least know what they are called. The problem is that I actually have very little idea of what to do with them. The most familiar item is the pomegranate, but even that usually has the decency to appear in my shopping basket in its prepared state, in the form of hundreds of ready-to-eat tiny, shiny ruby-red seeds. I embark on yet another steep learning curve, and as I discover how to prepare and serve this beautiful fruit, it begins to give up some of its secrets. I soon learn how to cut, peel and slice, whether skins and seeds are edible, if flesh can be juiced, and the chances of a soft or stringy pulp. I am astounded by the dragon fruit, which is so intensely pink it seems implausible. And while the guava has a texture reminiscent of pear, it also tastes incredibly sweet. In the end, I decide that it’s important to keep things as simple as possible and choose to prepare a healthy breakfast – including a smoothie and a fruit salad – that should really showcase these wonderful flavours at their best. So, I actually do very little for the fruit salad, adding only a squeeze of lime juice to a bowl of mixed, cut fruit – dragon fruit, guava and both red and green cactus fruit. It tastes fresh and sweet, although some of the (edible) seeds were harder and grittier than I would have liked. It is fitting that the smoothie is adapted from a recipe taken from the Farmers Market Cookbook (although their version is blended just with water and contains no yoghurt). It’s an excellent way to try the papaya, and also includes some of my other favourite fruits.
Recipe: Fruit smoothie
1 ripe mango – peeled, stone removed, and roughly chopped
½ ripe papaya – peeled, seeds removed, and roughly chopped
½ ripe banana – peeled and sliced
6 strawberries – stemmed and halved
½ cup water
½ cup fat-free plain yoghurt
Put all the ingredients, except the yoghurt, in a blender and puree until liquefied (this will probably take a couple of minutes). Add the yoghurt and blend again until smooth.
This takes about 10 minutes to prepare, is really delicious and has a high nutritive value. Excellent!