FIG AND GOAT CHEESE TART RECIPE – FROM CHEF LISA CORNISH
Easily recognizable, the Dragon Fruit (or Pitaya as it’s called in its native environs) has a very defining characteristic – its thick bright red skin has pronounced green spines curving up and off the surface, giving it a wild and slightly “out of this world” appearance. It comes from a surprising source as well, as it actually grows on a climbing Cactus. Filled with a spongy white (sometimes pinkish) and soft flesh containing numerous edible tiny black seeds, the flavor of its juicy flesh is sweet and fruity, but with a more mellow flavor than many other fruits. Hint: if you want it at its most deliciously sweet wait until the spines start to dry up and the skin softens and reaches a bright deep red.
Even though the Dragon Fruit’s flesh is soft and juicy it still holds it shape when cut, and so in addition to fresh eating, it also makes a viable and delicious addition to fruit salads (especially those with other tropical fruits), desserts, or on top of your favorite breakfast selection, whether that’s yogurt, oatmeal, or even waffles. Juice it and add to a fruity cocktail – or puree for a frozen twist. You can also puree the flesh and combine with sugar and freeze to make your own sorbets and sherbets – perfect for cooling off on these hot days!
If you’re an “Acai Bowl” fan try making your own “Dragon Fruit Bowl” with your pureed flesh. Its high levels of Vitamin C (one cup = 190% of your recommended daily amount), Calcium, Fiber, and both Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (contained in the seeds) make the Dragon Fruit a great immunity boosting, nutrient rich and filling ingredient to add some light sweetness to your daily juicing and smoothie concoctions.
You also might try renowned New York Chef David Bouley’s intuitive twist with Dragon Fruit. He takes a perfectly prepared piece of wild caught salmon – places medallion cube Dragon Fruit and delicately sliced avocados on top with a zest of lemon – it’s so delicious!
For some cool and creative ways to use the Dragon Fruit in your Kitchen check out the Daily Burns 9 Healthy and Creative Dragon Fruit Recipes
As one of our favorite treats of summer and fall ushers its way into the Markets – we celebrate this weekend with a special Heirloom Tomato Festival – and invite all of you to dig in and eat up!
So just what is an “Heirloom”? Heirloom Tomatoes can vary widely in appearance, in both color and shape – however, they typically have a thinner skin, less seeds, and a more meaty flesh. This thin skin is also what gives them their higher sugar content and excellent flavor.
Due to this rich and sweet tomato flavoring Heirloom Tomatoes make the perfect choice for fresh eating and uncooked preparations. Slice and add to your favorite salad mixture or combine with fresh mozzarella and basil for a delicious Italian classic Caprese salad. You can dice them into fresh salsa, layer them into savory tarts, or even blend them with fresh herbs and strawberries for a take on Gazpacho.
Heirlooms are more delicate then their thicker fleshed counter parts so make sure and store them in single layers to prevent bruising and use them soon after purchasing – also try and store them in a cool and well ventilated area rather than the fridge.
We will be getting in a whole slew of freshly foraged Heirloom varietals for this weekend including, Brandywine Pink and Red, Costa Genovese, German Stripe, Graffiti, Green Zebra, Japanese Blush, Purple Cherokee, and Yellow Amana. Check out below for more details on some of our favorites:
The Red Brandywine is an Heirloom varietal of your more common Beefsteak tomatoes – a large plump culinary favorite. They have an excellent and robust tomato flavor, and are non-acidic. Like all the Heirlooms, they are great eaten or prepared fresh, such as sliced with just a pinch of salt or diced and added to salads or salsas, their size also makes them perfect for adding to sandwiches, as well as the base for your Caprese salad.
The Red Brandywine is also a nutritional star, containing all four of the major carotenoids, including lycopene – a powerful antioxidant, along with Vitamins, A and D, and Potassium. Low in sugar and calories, and with no fat, the Red Brandywine is a great healthy choice.
Sometimes referred to as the “best-tasting tomato in the world” the Pink Brandywine is a classic beefsteak slicing tomato known for its rich, delicious, traditional tomato flavor. Often more oblong than completely circular this varietal is a rich dark pink in color (although the skin near the stem can remain a little green even when ripe) with a nice meaty pinkish flesh.
Again perfect for slicing and fresh eating because of its exceptional taste, you’ll want to throw these on your sandwiches, gourmet burgers, and pizzas, as well as use them chopped in salads (they pair especially well with fresh corn!), salsas, and more. You’ll also want to make sure and use them right away as their thin skin means their “shelf life” after picking is short (and just another reason to get these gems from the Farmers Market – where they are freshly foraged and direct to you with a minimal of packing and rough transport).
Getting its name from its dark pink to purple skin – often with hints of a deep green (especially near the stem), the Cherokee Purple has a deep rose colored flesh filled with wet red (and sometimes green) pockets of seeds. With a sweet and complex flavor which can occasionally run to the acidic, their sweetness is well balanced by slightly smoky notes. An additional nutritional benefit found is this variety is the added Vitamin C, which is found in high amounts in the pulp around the seeds of the Cherokee.
Another great choice for sandwiches (just try slicing it and putting it on your next BLT – you’ll taste the difference:) or gourmet burgers the Cherokee is best eaten fresh – that being said, they’re also great grilled and used as a pizza topping. Freshly chopped you can mix them in your next Pico de Gayo preparation or slice them for a Caprese salad – better yet – try several varieties of Heirlooms and make yourself a mixed heirloom Caprese Salad – delicious!!