Strawberry, Rhubarb, Blueberry and Maple Pecan Salad

With Passion Fruit Yoghurt

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Salads

Salads

By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

The range of fruity flavours in this dessert provides a powerful contrast. Rhubarb has a really astringent and strong flavour, blueberries have a sense of denseness in them, and strawberries provide an intense yet light, aromatic flavour. Combined with the vanilla-scented verjuice (the unfermented juice from unripe green grapes, also known by its French name verjus), the whole thing works a treat. The pecans are also good used in savoury salads, so make a big batch and keep in an airtight jar for later use. This fruit salad can be eaten warm or cold and you can use the leftover cooking juices as a cordial – just add sparkling water or tonic.

Ingredients

  • large handful of pecan nuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 350 ml verjuice
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways and then halved again
  • 500 g rhubarb, cut into 6 cm lengths
  • large handful of blueberries
  • large handful of strawberries
  • 2 passion fruit, cut in half and pulp removed
  • 200 g plain thick yoghurt

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas 3. Toss the pecans with the maple syrup and lay on a tray lined with non-stick baking parchment, then bake for 12–20 minutes, tossing twice to make sure they cook evenly. (They’re done when they are golden on the inside – just cut one open after 10 minutes with a knife.) As they cook, the maple syrup evaporates and forms a sweet crust on the outside.

While the pecans are cooking, place the verjuice, sugar and vanilla pod in a medium-to-wide pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rhubarb, ideally in one layer, and bring back to a simmer, then cook it for 4–6 minutes, depending on the thickness. Turn the rhubarb over halfway through, using a fork to flip it. If you overcook the rhubarb, it will begin to break up; if it’s a little underdone, it’ll just be a bit firmer. Take off the heat.

After 5 minutes, add the blueberries and strawberries, and mix the passion fruit pulp into the yoghurt.

To Serve

Divide the rhubarb between 4 plates, then spoon over the berries and some of the cooking juices. Dollop on the yoghurt and place a few pecans on top.