Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Frisée and Star Fruit Salad--Fusion of Two Salads

I like the look of the star fruits so much that I buy them sometimes just for their beauty. I use them to decorate some of my desserts or glasses with drinks but I must admit that often I am at a loss as to what to do with the rest of that unused fruit which unfortunately quickly turns brown and ends in trash. I have been looking for a recipe on how to use them better but I could not find anything else than a fruit salad with coconut milk.

Star fruit, also called carambola, is often used just to extract its juice. It is rich in antioxidants but one has to be careful drinking eat at any time because, similarly to a grapefruit juice, if consumed in large amount it may enter into interaction with some medications.

Last week, I could not resist buying a beautiful star fruit again. The fruit itself has a delicate, hard to describe taste, somewhat reminiscent of a pear. Following this association, I decided to make a salad with star fruits as I make it with pears. In the fall I often make a salad with Belgian endives, pears, blue cheese, and roasted walnuts and dress it with walnut oil. As I discovered recently this simple idea is still quite unknown outside France. In Switzerland I learned a recipe for a frisée lettuce salad with good quality blue cheese and honey dressing. Inspired by both of these salads, I made my frisée and star fruit salad for the first time. It is more seasonal than the one using endives; frisée is more summery, while Belgian endives taste better in fall or winter.

This salad not only had a new taste but it also looked very picturesque. Dressing should be poured over it at the last moment as it will soften the star fruit and make it lose its fresh perfect look.

Frisée and Star Fruit Salad

1 star fruit,
1/2 lb (a medium-sized head) frisée salad,
1/3 cup roasted walnuts,
4 oz hard blue cheese, such as Stilton or Bleu d'Auvergne.

juice from half a lemon,
1/2 tbsp running honey,
2 tbsp rice bran oil,
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Cut frisée in smaller pieces and arrange on the plate.
2. Mix all the dressing ingredients and pour over the lettuce.
3. Cut a star fruit into very thin slices and arrange on top of the frisée.
4. Sprinkle with roasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese.

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