A few months ago I was in Home Depot with my darling H, looking for shelving materials for our new apartment. My attention was captured when I walked past some plants in the garden center and saw this:
This gorgeous flower is from the passion fruit plant. Imagine my delight when I learned that this vine grows well in pots, in my San Diego climate, and creates a delicious fruit. I fell in love with H all over again when he took one look at the joy on my face from this flower and said “we should get it”.
I’d had passion fruit before, but never grown one. I was eager to try, and we brought it home that day.
I’ve enjoyed watching these flowers, which bloom for only one day, pop up and quickly turn into teensy green fruits. The grow to full size (around 3 inches tall) and then start to darken into a lovely purple.
Eventually they fall off the vine and will continue to ripen in a windowsill. Now three months later, we have our first harvest of gorgeous purple fruits.
The passion fruit is a dark purple fruit filled with bright yellow-green sweet and tangy seeds. Passion fruit is commonly eaten as-is, or juiced and used in baked goods and desserts. I’ve seen passion fruit mousse, ice cream, cheesecake and creme brulee. But with it’s sweetness and citrusy tang, my favorite way to use it is in a marinade or vinaigrette.
So of course I’m going to make a quick batch of a favorite… passion fruit salad dressing. I started with these beauties
And cut them open to reveal their strange little seeds. Kinda orange, kinda green, with crunchy black seeds in the middle of… what I guess is technically an “aril” of the fruit.
All three passion fruits made a little pile of seeds, which I placed in a sieve and used a whisk to break up the arils so their juice released into the bowl.
When all was strained I would up with just about a tablespoon of delicious and citrusy juice.
I kept the seeds too for later… they are sweet and crunchy. A great snack!
From here on out the recipe is simple.
Passion Fruit Salad Dressing
equal parts passion fruit juice and olive oil
salt and herbs to taste
Yep, thats it.
I added a little minced ginger (I keep this handy in my fridge) and some chopped cilantro (try mint!). Sprinkled in a dash of salt and whisked in the oil.
Its really apparent to me that if I’m going to be a food blogger, I need to:
1) learn how to measure
2) get a better camera
3) learn how to take really seductive pictures.
Those tomatoes are also from my little balcony garden.
All tossed together, this made an awesome side dish to go with our burgers last night. YUM!
One ounce of passion fruit contains about 25 calories and a gram of protein, zero fat and 14% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.
The seeds themselves not only are a yummy crunchy snack, they also are rich in polyphenolic compounds (antioxidants), and they also contain loads of insoluble dietary fiber and magnesium.