Passion and Peaches
I think one of the most exotic looking plants that we can grow EASILY in this chilly old place that is England is the Passion flower. For those who insist, its the Passiflora caerulea version that I refer to here. It has done extremely well this year and each morning this summer, whenever I have ventured outside into the garden (wearing either full winter garb or sheltering under an umbrella), I have marvelled at its existence under the constant low cloud, sullen grey sky or howling wind.
Bright orange fruits have now replaced the flowers.
Now there are some who dismiss these little delicacies, saying “Ah, but these are not the TRUE passion fruits that you will find in the supermarket! These are nasty little pretenders and aren’t worth bothering with”
“Hah! I reply. “But these are mine. These are growing in MY garden. Furthermore, these are FREE”
Hang all that business about them being nasty, tasteless little things. They are LOVELY. They have a gentle taste, with a slight perfume. True, they are a little tricky to release from their woolly case (but then aren’t we all encased in woollies this summer!) but a spoon should soon have those lovely little seeds sitting daintily on top of your daily salad. So, having whetted the taste buds, here’s what you will need.
- 4 leaves from a red chicory (not quite as bitter as green), torn, ripped or sliced (depending on your mood today)
- 4 lettuce leaves, torn, ripped or sliced
- 1/2 orange, peeled and sliced
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1 tomato, sliced
- mozzarella cheese
- 2 ripe passion fruits
- dressing (olive oil, cider vinegar, ginger, lemon juice) to your own taste
Put the chicory, lettuce, orange, peach and tomato in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Pile onto your plate. Dot the mozzarella on top. Rip open the passion fruits and scoop out the seeds. They will all tend to cluster together, but a little gentle teasing should separate them. Sprinkle on top of the mozzarella. Serve with ciabatta bread and dream or the summer that never happened.