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Grilled Fruit Salad

When fruit is grilled, the flesh softens and some of the natural sugars caramelize, creating an added layer of flavor that is reminiscent of the fruit in a deep-dish pie. Here, grilled fruits are combined in a warm salad drizzled with a creamy tart-sweet dressing. Almost any kind of fruit in season can be cubed, sliced, halved and quartered, then grilled. If you can’t find lemon-infused olive oil, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice to 2 Tbs. olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 mangoes 
  • 1/2 small pineapple, about 1 lb.  
  • 2 nectarines  
  • 2 Tbs. lemon-infused olive oil  
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar 
  • 1 Tbs. sugar 

Directions:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill and oil the grill rack. Or, preheat a broiler.

Stand a mango on one of its narrow sides, with the stem end facing you. Using a sharp knife, cut slices 1 inch thick on each side of the pit. Remove the peel from the slices. Place the slices in a large bowl. Repeat with the other mango.

If the leafy top is still on the pineapple half, lay the pineapple half on its side and cut off the top with the sharp knife. Stand the pineapple on its base and cut away the skin in long, vertical strips. Don’t try to cut deeply enough to remove the brown eyes at the same time or you will remove too much flesh. Lay the pineapple on its side again and cut shallow furrows in the flesh to remove the eyes. Cut the pineapple half in half lengthwise, cut away the fibrous core and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to the bowl.

Cut each nectarine in half and remove the pit. Cut each half in half again and add to the bowl. Drizzle the fruit with the lemon-infused olive oil and turn gently to coat evenly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, vinegar and sugar. Set aside.

For a grill: Arrange the fruit in a single layer in a grill basket. Place over the hottest part of the fire or directly over the heat elements and grill, turning the fruit once or twice, until the surface of the fruit begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes total.

For a broiler: Arrange the fruit in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source. Broil, turning the fruit once or twice, until the surface of the fruit begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes total.

Arrange the fruit on a platter and drizzle with the cream mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).