If you can get hold of some kumquats they make a lovely edible container for this lemongrass scented fruit salad. I found these in Waitrose and fruit and vegetable wholesalers will often have them as well. Kumquats are slightly tart, yet also sweet and similar to orange in flavour. They are the size of a large grape and both the skin and the flesh can be eaten, although for this recipe only the skin is used. They will keep in the fridge for two weeks or more, so if you see them, grab them to use later. They can also be used to make delicious jams, relishes and desserts or just as a garnish for sweet or savoury dishes, so they won't go to waste.
Ingredients - makes 24
Half a small ripe mango
1 slice ripe honeydew melon
2 or 3 red or black grapes
24 pistachios (about 15g)
24 small mint leaves
For the lemongrass syrup
100g caster sugar
1 lemongrass stalk
To make the lemongrass syrup: heat the sugar and water together until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a few minutes and then take off the heat.
Bash the lemongrass with a rolling pin and submerge it in the cooling syrup. Set aside for the lemongrass to flavour the sugar syrup. Up to 24 hours if you like a stronger lemongrass taste.
Strain the syrup to remove the pieces of lemongrass before using.
Wash, dry and cut the kumquats in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard the flesh.
If you prefer a milder taste, spoon a few drops of syrup in each kumquat half and leave covered in the fridge for between 2 and 12 hours. Alternatively, simply fill the kumquat halves as below.
Prepare the fruit salad filling:
Roughly chop the pistachios.
Peel the mango and kiwi and cut a slice or two of each into very small even sized pieces. Peel the melon slice and cut into similar even sized pieces. Cut the grapes into small pieces. Cover the fruits with the syrup.
To serve: sprinkle some pistachios in each half kumquat (about 1 chopped nut in each). Then fill each half with the same assortment of the chopped fruit and tuck a small mint leaf in.
The filled kumquat will keep for several hours covered in the fridge although it is best to tuck the mint leaf in before serving.
This syrup can be used for any variations of fruit salad to add a tropical taste.