Minted Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is one of my favorite foods.  Growing up, it always seemed like a special treat to have fresh fruit salad.  Now that I’m an adult (according to the government, anyway), I get to have fruit salad whenever I want… and I want a LOT of fruit salad.  Several mornings a week, I’ll throw together a quickie fruit salad from whatever fresh fruit I happen to have on hand and take it to work to eat for breakfast at my desk.  But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill weekday fruit salad, although it’s almost as easy.  The addition of mint and fresh orange juice really take this salad to the next level and make it perfect for a fresh dessert or celebratory brunch… or even for any spring weekend when you just feel like having something extra special.

Minted Fruit Salad

2 mangoes
2 oranges
1 cup quartered strawberries
2 bananas
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped

  • Peel and cut mango as follows: slice the cheeks off, being careful not to cut into the pit.  Score into the mango cheeks in a grid.  Pop mango cheeks inside out and carefully cut the pieces out, creating cubes.  Add to mixing bowl.  Repeat with second mango.
  • Segment an orange: cut the tops and bottoms off, then slice the peel off between the pith and the flesh.  Cut between the membranes and pop out orange segments.  Cut each segment in half and add to mixing bowl.  Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the mango and orange segments.  Repeat with second orange.
  • Slice two bananas and add to mixing bowl, along with strawberries and mint.  Carefully toss all together.

Nota Baker: You don’t have to use the fruit I suggested above.  If you happen to have something else knocking around your produce drawer, or you see a particularly good-looking pineapple at the market, by all means, use that.  Just make sure you invite me over to enjoy it with you!

Source: Covered In Flour

Tilapia with Citrus Bagna Cauda

I realized just how behind I am on posting – this move threw me all off, but I’m back now, I swear – when I saw that this dish, hubby’s and my Valentine’s Day entree, was still in draft form.  And that’s a shame.  I hate to think I’ve waited so long to share this with you all, because it’s wonderful.  Tilapia is one of my favorite – perhaps my all-time favorite – kinds of fish.  Although I do love tuna.  And halibut, and sole, and really good salmon.  Anywho.  This tilapia is wonderful, gently sauteed and coated with a bright, fresh-tasting sauce of citrus and herbs.  It was easy to make, too – bonus!  I’m definitely not going to wait for next Valentine’s Day to make this again.

Tilapia with Citrus Bagna Cauda

For the Bagna Cauda Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 anchovy fillet, minced (yum!)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon chiffonaded fresh basil (or chives)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

For the Fish
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tilapia fillets
salt and pepper

  • To make the bagna cauda sauce, combine the oil, butter, and anchovy fillets in a nonstick saute or fry pan and warm until the anchovy melts.  Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Remove from heat and add the juice, herbs and zest.  Season to taste with salt and set aside.
  • Wipe out the fry pan with a paper towel and add additional olive oil.  Season the fish with salt and pepper and saute until just opaque and still tender – approximately 3 minutes per side.
  • Plate fish and dress with the bagna cauda sauce.
  • Optional – garnish with chives.

Yield: Serves 2.  I reduced the recipe, which originally served 6.  For the original proportions see…

Source: Adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners, by Giada de Laurentiis