Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Recipes: Tropical Fruit Salad with Anise Syrup, Pepper & Parmigiano

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I originally made the anise syrup with anise seeds.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.

Anise Syrup

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
Parmigiano Shavings

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.


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