Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Passion fruit vinaigrette is tangy and light, with just a hint of fruity sweetness, the perfect dressing for salad or to spoon over pan-fried fish. We especially love it on salmon.

Most of the year I tend to have a jar of homemade vinaigrette lurking somewhere in the refrigerator, nestled amongst the myriad jars on my over-packed top shelf.  It invariably contains some combination of lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt and black pepper and perhaps some honey or pomegranate molasses. I fish the jar out and let it rest for about 10 minutes at room temperature until the olive oil turns liquid again and then I give it a shake. If there’s not enough dressing left in the jar for that night’s salad, I add more of this, a little of that, until there is, once again, enough. Measurements are not really necessary but a general rule of thumb is one part acid (vinegar or citrus juice) to three parts oil.

Early this summer I was making up a fresh jar of vinaigrette when I spied a few passion fruit languishing in the fruit bowl. With passion fruit, there’s a narrow window where the fruit is wrinkled and ripe and wrinkled and dried out inside and mine were approaching the other side. So I scraped the black speckled pulp out of four of those little orbs of tartness and added them to the dressing I was creating. We ate it over everything for the next couple of days! And then I made some more. It keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.

Pulp of 4 small passion fruit – 1/4 cup or 65g
1 small purple onion
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt (I use Maldon’s.)
Several generous grinds of fresh black pepper
1/2 cup or 120ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Peel and mince your onion. Add it to a small bowl with two tablespoons of the vinegar. Add in the sea salt and a few good grinds of the black pepper and set aside. Marinating the onion in the vinegar mellows some of the sharpness and bite.

Put your passion fruit pulp in a clean jam jar and mix it around with a knife or fork to loosen it up and separate the seeds.

Add in the olive oil, the onion/vinegar mixture and the last two tablespoons of vinegar. Give the jar a really good shake.

Now add in the dry mustard and shake again until very well combined.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, shaking well again before lightly dressing salad or spooning it over cooked fish.

Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of uses for the dressing. The first is a simple salad with butter lettuce, ripe tomatoes, cheese and shoestring carrots. The passion fruit seeds add color and crunch!

The second is pan-fried salmon the flavor of which far exceeds its accompaniments of fresh corn on the cob and peas. As much as I love sweet corn it still would have been a rather bland meal without the passion fruit vinaigrette!

Enjoy! Go ahead and make a jar! I’d love to hear what you’ve tried it on.

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