This should probably be called a salsa. But then most people conjure up a flavor profile of tomatoes, onions, peppers, with maybe a bit of fruit tossed in. That’s not this…at all. I’m serving this with very simply prepared fish, but it’s all about the fruit mixture. I could seriously eat the whole bowl. Just standing there, leaning up against the cupboard…it’s that good. I call this a “crudo”, to differentiate it from salsa. Usually crudo refers to thinly sliced raw fish/seafood, vegetables or fruit. So, this crudo is diced fresh, uncooked fruits that macerates a bit…it’s a saucy little sauce! This is absolutely, hands-down the perfect foil for fish or seafood. It’s good with chicken, but it really is stellar with fish. I’m serving this with pan-fried red snapper, but it’s equally amazing with scallops. And shrimp. And salmon. This has big, big flavor, is refreshing and incredibly low in calories. It’s also amazingly flexible. This mixture of peaches, Bing cherries, strawberries and mango is my favorite. It’s loaded with summery goodness. But use whatever fruit is in season and whatever works with what you’re serving, or you feel like eating. Options, baby. Options….
Some combos I’ve used:
- Blueberries, strawberries and kiwi
- Nectarines, plums and apricots
- Peaches (or nectarines), raspberries and blueberries
- Mango, papaya, kiwi and nectarine…you get the idea
I prefer lime zest and juice, but lemon it also great. For a bit of sweetness, some good options are honey, maple syrup, melted preserves or marmalade, along with a little bit of frozen orange juice concentrate.
For herbs, I always add chives. And usually, I use either fresh basil or mint. But you can use fresh dill, cilantro or parsley, though parsley doesn’t add much flavor, just color.
Put your fruits of choice into a bowl, add the grated lime zest and juice, frozen orange juice concentrate, melted preserves, peach balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, chives and basil, and a pinch of salt and piri-piri flakes. Give it a good stir; set aside for 30-60 minutes, at room temperature. As you walk by, give the mixture a stir now and then. I find this is best served within 2 hours of preparing it, if you leave it at room temperature. It you want to make it ahead, cover and chill it, then return it to room temperature before serving. It’s still delicious the next day, but it loses something in texture.
This gives you real bang flavor-wise, given the time it takes to put this together. I’m telling you, you’ll be trying to think up entrées to prepare, just so you can make this.
Summer Fruit Crudo with Basil
This is one of those forgiving recipes, that allows for flexibility in the amounts given.
- 1 medium ripe peach or nectarine, pit removed and finely diced
- 5-6 Bing cherries, pitted and finely diced
- 3-4 large strawberries, hulled and finely diced
- 1/3-1/2 cup finely diced fresh mango
- 1 1/2 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 tablespoon melted apricot preserves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2-3 teaspoons white or peach balsamic vinegar
- 3 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
- 2 teaspoons very finely minced fresh chives
- Large pinch kosher salt
- Large pinch piri-piri pepper flakes or chile flakes of choice
Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine; set aside for at least 30 minutes to all the flavors to meld. Stir 2-3 times while the mixture rests. You may make this several hours before serving, cover and chill. Return to room temperature before serving, as this is best and most flavorful served at room temperature. Excellent with fish or seafood.
Summer Fruit “Crudo” with Basil Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2021. All rights reserved.
This is also rather delicious over ice cream, with a slice of pound cake! Just sayin’!