I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

January 15, 2014

Tropical Lemongrass Fruit Salad




Australian Summers are not generally known for their lovely, mild and mellow weather


No, rather they are generally hot... really hot, scorching hot. Concrete that sears the soles of your feet, car interiors that can kill you in 6 minutes from the trapped heat, and heat that bad that it leaves with very little energy for cooking- let alone eating

I know that the Northern Hemisphere is trapped in a mini-Ice Age at the moment, but with our current temperatures hovering at 40*C/ 105*F we Aussies are also hibernating in our homes, trying to keep the heat OUT instead of IN


This recipe may not be on the menu plan for any of my Northern Readers for a while, but maybe it's one that can looked at wistfully, whilst dreaming of warmer days, tropic isles and palm trees- definitely not bush fires, sweat and blow flies


 The basis of any good Fruit Salad is great fruit to start with. You can use any you enjoy or that are in season, but I always like a mix of soft, firm, crisp, tart, mellow and sweet fruit.

Today I've picked: soft, sweet mango; firm tart pineapple; mellow papaya; fragrant lychees; crisp honeydew melon; tart passionfruit and the surprise bursts of flavour and texture that grapes would bring instead of using berries. I would have loved to include some guava, starfruit and even dragonfruit but there were none at the markets for me to find



Tropical Lemongrass Fruit Salad

A gorgeous selection of fresh Tropical Fruit
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 stick Lemongrass
juice of half a Lime
spray of Mint- sliced very finely



First things first, time to make the lemongrass syrup




Bash the stem of lemongrass to release the oils and flavour




Place the lemongrass, sugar and water in a small pan and simmer until the liquid is nice and syrupy. Let the lemongrass continue infusing while it cools, then strain out

 


While the syrup is cooking and cooling, chop the fruit into nice bite sized pieces. I always like to cut the grapes in half as they are easier to eat that way and can also absorb some of the flavours from the syrup.

I'm going to share a secret with you Dear Readers... the easiest way in the world to peel a mango!
Instead of trying to slice the mango around the middle, then removing the seed, it's much easier to slice off the cheeks by cutting alongside the seed on each side leaving you with two nice flat cheeks and the seed with just a little rim of mango meat around it.
Take a thin edged metal spoon and slide it as close as you can get to the skin of the mango. Now run it underneath the flesh, following the curve of the skin and working your way around the whole piece




You should be able to pop the whole cheek out nice and neatly, leaving very little waste attached to the skin. See, a nice tidy result with no squishy bits




Gently combine the chopped fruit, sliced mint, lime juice and enough of the lemongrass syrup to coat it all nicely




A Big Bowl full of Beautiful!



 I like to leave the salad overnight for the lemongrass and mint to infuse through nicely. With the acidity of the lime and sugar in the syrup, the fruit salad should stay fresh in the fridge for a few days without breaking down if you've used good quality fruit.

I find that if you let the chill come off the fruit salad before eating, so much extra flavour comes through. The subtle lemongrass and zing of mint is a lovely way to start your day for breakfast, or end a meal for dessert- or of course as a snack anytime at all!

Serve a big scoop or two of this lovely, fragrant fruitiness with a dollop of lactose free yoghurt or a drizzle of coconut cream for extra decadence if you must- but I love it just on it's own


So Dear Reader, do you enjoy the taste of lemongrass, and what's the weather doing in your part of the world?






 

17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lizzy! It's nice and refreshing, that's for sure :)

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  2. We've been eating alot of fruit salad and fruit in general with large glasses of watermelon juice as well.

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    1. Oh I looove watermelon juice too Simcha- delicious!

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  3. I absolutely love lemon grass and it would be a delightful treat to eat this

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    1. Me too Tania, I've been trying to grow it but it didn't last through our freezing winters :(

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  4. Rebecca your fruit salad looks delicious and refreshing. Love mint and lemongrass in a salad - so tasty!

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    1. Thanks Ina, such a nice combination for summer!

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  5. I have two huge pots of lemongrass and I love it. I bought a full box of mangoes yesterday - more than 25 of them. We have 23 left. :) I'm in on this salad.

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    1. My dad used to grow it for a tea company Maureen and still has thousands of plants. Sadly it hasn't done well down here with our frosts though :( Loving the mangoes too!

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  6. That's the perfect dish for us right now! Thankfully we've got some breeze cooling the heat off (for now) but who knows what next week holds!

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    1. It's certainly hot, hot, hot here at the moment Lorraine! Hopefully it will drop a little soon before the garden crisps up too much xo

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  7. I love the flavour of lemongrass, but hate it when someone leaves it in the food and then serves it up!
    WINDY here. I suspect summer has been cancelled here.
    Stay cool Rebecca

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    1. I'd love to share some of our 40* heat with you Janet! I hope it kicks off soon for you:)

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  8. This is so fantastic.Us Asians use lemongrass in too many savoury dishes and not enough in sweets, for some reason. Thanks for showing us another exciting way to use this beloved ingredient =)

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    1. I adore it Winston! Savoury or sweet it all works for me :)

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  9. Oh YUM!
    So fresh and healthy, it has been so hot here too!

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