What the heck do you do with dragon fruit? | The Gourmand & Gourmet

What the heck do you do with dragon fruit?

Dragon fruit look so damn interesting but your first ever mouthful of them was probably incredibly disappointing. Far from being as wild and fanciful as it looks, the fruit is actually very mild, very bland, very creamy and just a bit , well, nothing. But it turns out, when you add a little citrus juice or flavoured vinegar, the hideously spiky fruit comes alive. To help you change your mind about them while they’re in season, we’ve got a few recipes from Nims at The Jam Pantry that will have you counting down the days until they’re at grocery store every year. Chef’s tips The Asian fruit, which grows on a cactus plant, typically comes in two colours, yellow with white flesh and pink with white or hot pink flesh. When choosing them, a ripe fruit should have the feel of a half ripe avocado with unblemished bright skin. Don’t attempt to eat it like an apple as the skin is inedible, but inside, the flesh is dotted with hundreds of tiny black seeds that are kiwi fruit-like in texture. Dragon fruit cured salmon Get this recipe right (it’s easy) and you’ll wind up with prettified salmon with a hot pink outer edge dotted with black seeds, slowly graduating to an orange middle and a soft, tender bite. Serve it up with twice cooked crunchy potato hash, lime crème fraiche and a salsa of dragon fruit, red onion, chilli, strawberries and purple basil. To serve four:
  • 1 x 500g piece salmon, skin on
  • 100g each salt and sugar
  • 1 dragon fruit
Mix the salt. sugar and dragon fruit well and rub a handful over the salmon flesh to cure. Lay the rubbed salmon flat into a plastic or stainless steel container so that the pieces are flat, skin side up, and pour the remaining mix over top until completely covered and leave in the fridge for at least 3 days. Once cured, slice very thin with a sharp filleting knife down to the skin and away. dragon fruit recipe saladDragon fruit salad Dragon fruit is the perfect sweet addition to a salad. Toss together some salad leaves with a slight bitterness like mache or rocket and some lemon verbena leaves. Layer with perfectly chopped dragon fruit, sliced avocado, finely sliced red onion and toasted macadamias. You could even toast the nuts with a drizzle of honey for an extra dimension of fun. Then drizzle over this zippy dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 5 mint stems and leaves
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 tbsp water for consistency
Puree together until the mint is fine. Serve the salad with some grilled white fish such as snapper. Dragon fruit jam For an anytime treat on a slice of toast, try making a jam with the pink flesh. And don’t worry, jam making isn’t the wildly difficult process it’s made out to be. For 1kg of dragon fruit flesh add 750g sugar and the juice and zest of 3 limes. Bring to the boil then cook at a simmer until thickened, stirring every 10 minutes or so, for about an hour. Spoon onto toasted brioche with crème fraiche for a fruity afternoon treat. Enjoy your purple stained hands. nims xx The Jam Pantry