Tuesday 23 March 2021

Sicilian-style cedar fruit salad

15 minutes to prepare Serves 4


Today’s recipe promotes a fruit which is usually turned into candied peel to the higher echelons of salad: cedar fruit.

Even in Sicily, it’s hard-core granny-generation traditional, and of course limited to its short season.
I remember the first time I saw cedar fruits in Sicily. I presumed they were lemons, albeit lemons which were possibly the result of genetic modification or a nuclear incident. At the very best, they were lemons with third-degree cellulite. The one I used for today’s recipe was average, weighing in at about half a kilo, but you can come across some three3 times that. 

As if the sight of them was not enough, the way the locals ate them was even stranger, cutting off slices and then dipping them in salt or sugar before popping them in their mouth. I knew by this point that they were not actually lemons, but was convinced they would taste like them. 

Eating them for pleasure struck me as madness. 
As it turned out, cedar fruits are much milder than their smaller cousins, and the thick layer of pith has an extremely delicate taste, which beautifully offsets their sour heart.

Cedar can be eaten as an accompaniment, or on its own as a post-main course mouth freshener, rather like a sorbet. This is has all the hallmarks of the perfect salad.
Extremely quick to make, full of flavor, and refreshing yet filling. The juicy tartness of the cedar center plays off against the mild olive oil, with further contrast provided by pungent black olives' tapenade and refreshing oregano.
It’s fine to add also other raw vegetables, thinly sliced fennel being the classic example.


Here's what you will need for the 4-serving recipe

1 cedar fruit 
black olives' tapenade
EVO oil
dry oregano  

    1. Peal the cedar fruit, being careful to remove all the yellow peel, and cut it into pieces; place it in a large bowl
    2. Season your salad: add one large tablespoon of black olives' tapenade and dry oregano. Flavor everything with 2 tablespoons of EVO oil and a pinch of salt. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve

      Nutrition Facts are listed for this recipe in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

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