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Pascale’s kitchen: Fun fruit served in imaginative ways

SC 11/08/2021 17


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Although it is still incredibly hot outside, we are quickly reaching the end of summer vacation and before you know it the kids will be starting a new school year and then just a few short days later, the Tishrei festivals will be upon us. As we listen to Health Ministry updates regarding the return of our school-age children to the classroom, we are also wondering how we will celebrate another Rosh Hashanah during this ongoing pandemic. 
I decided that we all need a break from these heavy decisions, and that’s why I’m offering you this week three light and fun summer fruit recipes that will cool us down at the same time that they raise our spirit. 
Most of the time when people serve watermelon, they cut it up into big chunks, which they serve in a large bowl. This is the perfect fruit to enjoy with friends and family at the dining room table or outside in the garden where you can (hopefully) feel a nice breeze. We can all agree that there’s nothing more refreshing than biting into a cold and juicy piece of watermelon, alongside some Bulgarian cheese topped with mint and thyme leaves. 

In the first recipe below, you will find a recipe that will completely change the way you think about serving cold watermelon. At first glance, you might think this recipe is for children, but I promise you that adults will enjoy it just as much. From my experience, everyone enjoys eating this creative composition. The “pizza” is really a slice of watermelon, and all the other fruits are the toppings, resulting in a fantastic combination of color and flavors. 
Figs are also one of my favorite fruits. As soon as they are in season, I try to include them in as many dishes as possible, including salads, pastries and cooked beef dishes, or with salty cheeses. Now that we’re nearing the end of the summer fruit season, I’ve begun preparing jam with figs so that I can continue enjoying them all year long. In the second recipe today, I’m bringing you a decadent recipe for figs dipped in bittersweet chocolate and seasoned with a little salt. The salt brings out a surprising flavor, making it a dish more suited to adults than children. 
The third recipe is a super easy and quick recipe kids will love: chocolate-covered bananas. All you have to do is freeze the bananas, then cover them with melted chocolate and fun toppings. 
Although the suggestions I bring you here are not actual recipes – they’re more just instructions how to arrange pieces of fruit – I am offering them this week in my column because I think we can all use a little sweetness and fun in our lives now. And you’ll be happy to know that all of these recipes are super healthy, too. 
Take a look at the pictures I’ve included here. they will help you understand how the fruit concoctions are supposed to be arranged. Of course, you are more than welcome to swap out any fruits for others, or use a white or pink chocolate coating instead. And I recommend making the preparation of these fruit dishes a project for the whole family. It’s a great way to have fun together on a hot summer day. 

WATERMELON PIZZA WITH FRUIT

Makes 10 servings.
Ingredients:
2-3 slices of watermelon, each slice between 3-5 cm thick
½ melon or a bunch of grapes
1 small package of blackberries
1 small package of raspberries
1 small package of blueberries
1 small package of fresh goji berries
Slice 3 round, cross section pieces of watermelon, then cut each one into three equal-sized triangles and place them on a serving tray. 
Using a melon baller, scoop out balls of melon. Rinse and dry the rest of the fruit. 
Arrange all the fruit pieces creatively in any design you like on top of the watermelon slice. Adorn them with mint leaves. Prepare the others in the same way. You can view the picture included here for design ideas. You are welcome to use any fruits you like, including pears, peaches and grapes. 
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 15 minutes.
Status: Pareve. 
 Figs and chocolate (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Figs and chocolate (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

FIGS AND CHOCOLATE

In the recipe below, the figs are covered with bittersweet chocolate, but you can also cover them with chocolate ganache, white or pink chocolate. 
Makes 4-6 servings. 
Ingredients:
10 large figs, sliced lengthwise
Chocolate icing:
100 g bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1-2 drops of oil
Chocolate ganache icing (dairy):
60 g bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
½ container of sweet whipping cream (or Rich’s if you want the dish to be pareve)
Toppings:
Kosher salt, pepper or dried chili peppers
To prepare the chocolate icing, place all the broken chocolate pieces in a glass bowl and add the drops of oil. Melt a few seconds at a time in the microwave until smooth.
If you’d rather use chocolate ganache, place the cream and chocolate pieces in a glass bowl and melt in the microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time. Remove and mix. Repeat until ganache is smooth. 
Dip the figs into the icing and then place on the tray with space in between each piece. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and/or chili peppers. The combination of the salty with the spicy creates an interesting flavor, which goes well with the sweetness of the figs. 
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 15 minutes.
Status: Pareve / Dairy.
 Banana and chocolate popsicles (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Banana and chocolate popsicles (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

BANANA AND CHOCOLATE POPSICLES

This “ice cream” is so yummy and also so easy to make, your family will be asking for it every week. And it’s vegan.
Makes 4 servings.
Ingredients:
2 bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
100 g bittersweet chocolate
2-3 drops of oil
Toppings:
½ cup candied nuts 
or ¼ cup roasted almonds or peanuts
or a little melted white chocolate
4 short skewers
Place the skewer, starting at the top of the banana, all the way through the inside of each banana half. Place them on a tray that is covered with baking paper and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. 
To prepare the chocolate icing, place the chocolate pieces in a glass bowl and melt in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a tall cup.
Take the bananas out of the freezer and dip each one in the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with candied nuts or any other topping straight away before the chocolate hardens. You can also drizzle melted white chocolate on the bananas. Place on the tray and serve as soon as the chocolate has hardened. If you’ll be serving at a later time, cover tray with plastic wrap and store in the freezer. 
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 75 minutes (including time in freezer).
Status: Pareve.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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Co-Host for Coffee Mouth Scarecrow Show. Retired NAVY Chief/Flag Writer Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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