Dragon Eye Salad with Dragonfruit, Mango and Longan / by Alex Boake

Hey everyone! I'm pleased to announce that I'm now contributing over at Feast On It!On the 21st of each month I'll have an extra recipe posted over there. Here's this month's recipe.

This fresh-tasting salad was inspired by a desire for some juicy fruit, and a jaunt through my local fruit market. I’d never tried Longan Fruit before, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance to eyeballs. Rather than being put off, I was inspired by the imagery. I decided to pair them with Dragon Fruit, and this tasty Dragon Eye Salad was born.

 Dragon Eye Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6oz. or 6 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 3 Baby Cucumbers
  • 1 Red or White Fleshed Dragon Fruit
  • 1 Large Ripe Mango
  • 3/4 Cup Whole, Raw Unsalted Cashews
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 1 Dozen Longan Fruit

Dressing

  • 3 Medium Limes
  • Avocado Oil to Taste

Directions When I make this type of salad, I don’t just toss the ingredients all together in a big bowl. I like to compose each plate so that each of my dining companions has a beautifully presented dish, with a even distribution of all the ingredients.

Wash and dry your Baby Spinach. If you don’t have a lettuce spinner yet, I absolutely recommend that you add one to your arsenal! If the leaves are on the large side, chop them before dividing them between 6 bowls.

While you’re working on preparing the toppings, toast your raw Cashews. You can do this in a toaster oven or on the stove top in a pan on low heat. Keep an eye on them and toast them until they are lightly browned and fragrant. If you’re using the stove top, stir frequently.

Cut the Avocados in half and remove the pits. Peel off the skin and then slice in half lengthwise. Make at least a dozen slices width-wise, and then divide these Avocado wedges between the bowls, arranging them on top of the Spinach. Then, wash the Baby Cucumbers. Slice into relatively thin slices, and then also divide between the plates.

Take the Dragon Fruit and cut it in half, and then slice each half into halves. Peel off the thick skin and then discard. Chop the flesh of the fruit, and then divide evenly. Take your Mango and peel the skin. Remove the flesh from the pit, and then slice. Again, divide between plates.

Your Cashews should now be done and ready to go. With a large knife, chop roughly and top the salad. Wash and dry the Green Onions. Chop, then sprinkle on top of each salad.

Now comes the Longan fruit! These fruit are extremely sweet, so I’ve only recommended a ‘pair of eyeballs’ for each person. Peel off the hard skin, and discard. Remove the ‘iris-like’ pit from the middle of the fruit, and give each plate two.

Quarter the Limes and rest two slices on the edge of each plate. Serve with a bottle of Avocado Oil on the table. Let each of your guests squeeze on the Lime juice, and drizzle on the Oil to make their dressing.

Enjoy these bright and delicious flavours!