Here is a delicious and unusual salad that I made for Thanksgiving. Natasha and I had this when we went to brunch at the Lyme Inn and I loved it. I have to admit that I was surprised that the combination or fruit, pepper, anise & cheese would be so delicious. But, my interest was peaked.
We shared a fruit plate and it was so delicious, I ordered a second one!!!
When I came home, I immediately wrote down what I remembered about it and then looked online for various recipes. Here is one I came up with and I absolutely loved it. The anise flavor intensifies the longer it sits. When I ate the leftovers this morning, the anise flavor was really strong. Strong enough that Ashley didn't like it today, but enjoyed the subtle flavors yesterday... So, a word of warning if you are not a licorice lover, eat it the same day you make it!
I originally made the anise syrup with anise seeds. The syrup was lightly perfumed with anise flavor, but I wanted a more intense flavor, so I researched some more and found out that star anise is stronger. Ashley made the syrup with the star anise and it was just as I wanted.
6 - 7 Star Anise
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Crush 6-7 star anise with a mortar or pestle. Place in a pan with the water and sugar. Simmer for 8 minutes. Let cool in pan. Strain through a sieve and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Pour into a bottle and chill until needed. This will keep in the fridge for weeks.
Fruit Salad with Anise Syrup, Pepper and Parmigiano
Seasonal fruit, nicely ripened - I used starfruit, mango, kiwi, berries, cantaloupe, Asian pear and pineapple)
Anise Syrup - the amount varies according to how much fruit you have
Fresh Ground Pepper
Prepare fruit and place in a bowl.
Gently pour anise syrup over fruit and with a spatula stir fruit around. I used just enough syrup to wet the fruit, but you can use more if you like a lot of liquid.
Chill at least 45 minutes until serving.
Grind pepper over fruit and stir to distribute.
Place shaved Parmigiano on top and serve.