Five fruit-inspired appetizer and drink recipes for spring

Five fruit-inspired appetizer and drink recipes for spring

Take a look at appetizer and beverage recipes featuring fruit, from a whole-fruit margarita to grilled pineapple.

Raspberry Cachaça
 
Yield: 2 servings, approximately 6 oz.
 
Raspberry Simple Syrup:
½  package (3 oz.) Driscoll’s Raspberries
½  cup granulated sugar
½  cup water

Raspberry Cachaça:
8-10 Driscoll’s Raspberries
4 large mint leaves
2 Tbsp. lemon-lime soda
½  cup ice cubes
6 Tbsp. cachaça or white rum
1½  tsp. lime juice
6 Tbsp. raspberry simple syrup

For raspberry simple syrup: Combine ½ package raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves and berries soften. Cool. Strain and press berries to release juice. Discard pulp.

For drink: Muddle raspberries, mint leaves and raspberry simple syrup in a cocktail glass using a muddler or flexible spatula. Add ice, white rum or cachaça and lime juice. Top with soda. Stir and serve.

PHOTO: DRISCOLL’S

Whole Fruit Margarita

Yield: 8 cups.
 
¼  cup water
6 oz. tequila
2 oz. Grand Marnier
1 medium orange, peeled, halved
1 lime, peeled, halved
1 lemon, peeled, halved, seeded
¼  cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
6 cups ice cubes
 
Place all ingredients into Vitamix® container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 45 seconds, using the tamper to press ingredients into the blades. Pour into salt-rimmed margarita glasses.

PHOTO: VITAMIX®
 

Appetizers

 

The Grilled Hawaiian

Yield: 75 servings.
 
5-lb. package Dole® Chef-Ready Cuts Tropical Gold® Pineapple Spears, thawed and drained
75 6” wooden skewers
as needed, peanut or vegetable oil
as needed, spiced chile rub (recipe follows)
as needed, pancetta bits, cooked and drained
 
Spiced Chile Rub:
1/3 cup kosher salt
¼  cup ancho chile pepper
¼  cup sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper
 
For spiced chile rub: Stir together ingredients in medium bowl until well-blended. Makes about 1 cup.

For skewers: Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Poke each pineapple spear halfway on wooden skewer. Lightly brush each pineapple spear with oil; sprinkle with spiced chile rub on all sides. Grill spears 4- 6 minutes, turning once or until lightly browned. Dip one side of grilled pineapple spear into pancetta bits until well coated. Serve warm.

PHOTO: DOLE
 
Goat Cheese and Strawberry Bruschetta
 
Yield: 8 servings, 2 slices per serving.
 
1 package (16 oz.) Driscoll’s strawberries
1 8-oz French baguette, sliced
8 oz. creamy and mild goat cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp. honey

Rinse and hull strawberries. Slice baguette into 16 thin diagonal slices. Toast slices in 350°F oven for 6 minutes, or until crisp, turning once.
Stir goat cheese and honey together in a small bowl until blended. Spread 1 Tbsp. onto each bread slice.

Slice each strawberry into several thin slices partway through, keeping it attached at the stem. Top each bruschetta with a fanned strawberry.

Variations: For different flavor, try stirring in ¼  tsp. cracked black pepper or ground chipotle chili pepper, or 1 tsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger. Herb-flavored goat cheese can be substituted for plain. For added flavor, stir 1 Tbsp. finely chopped, toasted pecans into the cheese mixture.

PHOTO: DRISCOLL’S

Pear Endive Boats

Yield: 6 servings, 4 pieces per serving.

15-oz. can Pacific Northwest Lite Canned Pear slices, drained, juice reserved
as needed, non-stick cooking spray
½  cup goat cheese
½  cup reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped chives
¾  tsp ground black pepper
24 spears Belgian endive, white and red

Heat reserved pear juice in a small stainless steel pan and reduce juice to 3 Tbsp. or until thick and syrupy. Cool to room temperature.

Lay pear slices on a sprayed baking sheet and spray tops of pears with spray. Place under broiler and cook about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Turn each slice over and continue broiling until golden brown and slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Dice pears. Reserve.

In a mixer equipped with a paddle, mix goats' cheese and cream cheese until smooth. With mixer running, slowly add pear syrup. Add pecans, ¼  cup chives and pepper. Stir in ¾  of diced caramelized pear and mix to incorporate. Adjust seasonings. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before using.

Spread endive spears out in an even layer on a baking sheet and spoon 1 Tbsp. filling onto the tip of each spear.

Plate filled spears on a platter and place a small piece of reserved roasted pear onto each filled spear to serve. Sprinkle with remaining chives to garnish.

PHOTO: PACIFIC NORTHWEST CANNED PEARS