What do all these delicious ingredients add up to?
Fruit salad. Yep, that's right. But not any old fruit salad. The most interesting and delicious of fruit salads.
There are three key sets of ingredients. Naturally, there is fruit - thinly sliced pineapple, kiwifruit and strawberries. All of which are wonderfully abundant at my local market at the moment. The other suggested fruit is fresh lychees, but I couldn't find any nice ones. Really, I think you can use whatever you want.
Next, is a delicious lemongrass, lime and agave nectar syrup. I was really excited to use a new ingredient. I'm looking for new agave nectar recipes now. The trick is to allow the syrup to become lovely and thick.
Finally, you add a dollop of thick greek yoghurt strewn with lime zest and finely chopped chile. The tangy yoghurt cuts through the sweetness and the chile provides an interesting background buzz.
I have to admit I was a bit reticent with the chile. I am not a fan of spicy food. But you do actually need the full amount to work against the yoghurt. I think it's a matter of taste. Add however much you are comfortable with I say.
It all adds up to such a refreshing and unusual dish. I actually found this recipe in Oprah magazine of all places. I have never read this magazine before, I just picked it up at random at the airport bookstore. There was a feature on recipes by Pichet Ong, a New York chef. I have never heard of him before. But golly does he have some terrific recipes. I drooled over almost every one. Expect to see more here at some stage.
Fruit Carpaccio with Yoghurt and Lemongrass Glaze
(based on a Pichet Ong recipe featured in Jan 2008 Oprah Magazine)
Mix together 1/2 cup greek yoghurt, 1 seeded and finely chopped chile (about 1 tspn) and the zest of a lime. If you want, wash the unchopped chile under cold water to cut some of the heat. Refrigerate for at least an hour before you use it.
Bring a finely chopped 3 inch piece of lemongrass, 1/4 cup of agave nectar, the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 cup of water to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce to simmer and reduce by about half. The mixture should be a fairly thick syrup. Allow to cool.
Arrange thinly sliced pineapple, kiwis and strawberries on a platter. Spoon over syrup and add a dollop of yoghurt.