Fruit is generally known for its sweet qualities, but renowned chefs are using it in new, unexpected ways. However, while restaurants are serving up complex dishes, you can get the same high-quality taste at home without a lot of work.
Sprinkling fresh fruit with coarse sea salt brings out flavors in a whole new way. Watermelon, cantaloupe and even strawberries can be elevated with a dash of salt. You can enjoy it alone; use it to dress up a side dish, or highlight your salted fruits as the main attraction of a crisp salad. Just make sure not to be too heavy-handed with the salt. A little goes a long way.
Because of its natural sugars, fruit caramelizes beautifully. Traditionally, cooking fruit in a pan with brown or white sugar is an easy caramelizing technique, but for a richer flavor, simply cook the fruit in melted butter. Fruits like pineapple, apples, bananas, pears and cherries will work best, and can create a delicious topping for both sweet desserts and savory meals.
If you prefer stone fruits, you can quickly caramelize them right on the grill. Just cut peaches, nectarines or even plums in half, removing the pits and stems. Sprinkle the halves with a little bit of sugar, then place cut side down on an oiled grill for 1-2 minutes, depending on their thickness. Watch for the skin to curl up a tiny bit, and then lift up gently to make sure you get those beautiful grill marks. Once cooled, you can cube the grilled fruit and couple with Greek yogurt to make yummy parfaits everyone will love.
For a more savory alternative, season stone fruit halves with oil, salt and pepper before placing on the grill. Once they're ready, you can use them to make salads, pizzas, salsas and more. Your family and guests will be amazed by the charred essence, and think you slaved over the stove to get the depth of flavor.
So, if you're looking for a way to put a surprising spin on a dish, try one of these easy, crowd-pleasing options. In just a few minutes, you can take fruit to a new level.