Kumquats, Dragon Fruit, Coconut Jelly, Pineapple
I work in South Sacramento, where there is a vibrant Southeast Asian community. For the last 10 weeks, I've been stationed near some of the best Vietnamese food in town. When there is so much fresh, bright, delicious food available on the cheap, it's easy to get out of the habit of packing a lunch.
This Tuesday, I went to Huong Lan Sandwich for Banh mi. Banh mi are beautiful little miracle sandwiches. Imagine this: the freshest French roll, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with flavorful marinated and grilled pork and do chua, a tangy carrot and diakon pickle. Add onions, cilantro, jalapeño, and a delicious sauce with savory, sweet and crunchy bits, including peanuts, and you've got a sandwich for the ages. It is an archetype of deliciousness. At $3 each, they are one of the best deals in town!
Whenever I have Huong Lan sandwiches, I have to browse SF Market. It is full of exciting and mysterious foods. I'm exploring the exotic tastes they have to offer a little at a time. Shopping there is almost the opposite of eating local, depending on what you buy. I especially enjoy the exotic produce. This time I found kumquats, dragon fruit, coconut jelly and pineapple. The kumquats will soon be preserved, but the rest went into this yummy salad.
I love coconut in almost any form. These little cubes of coconut jelly are full of flavor and offer just the right resistance when chewed. The syrup is heavenly and infuses the other, more tart, fruits with a lovely perfume. This is simple as can be.
Exotic Fruit Salad
1 20 oz. can coconut jelly, do not drain
1 ripe pineapple
1 ripe dragon fruit
Open the coconut and pour the cubes and syrup into a large bowl. Peel, core and cut up the pineapple and add to the bowl. Peel and cut up the dragon fruit and add to the bowl. Give it a gentle toss and enjoy!