Passion fruit is native to the subtropical regions of South America, and it is a part of the local culinary tradition throughout the continent. Using it brings the flavor of South America home and lends authenticity to any menu of South American specialties.
- 2 passion fruits (or 1/4 cup passion fruit puree)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cut the passion fruits in half. Scrape the pulp and seeds into a small saucepan.
Heat fruit pulp over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Heat the pulp almost to boiling, then remove it from the heat.
Strain the pulp through a fine sieve or colander.
Discard the seeds and let the juice cool.
Put the passion fruit juice, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, honey, and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.
Store the salad dressing in the refrigerator for up to one week. Stir or shake before using.
Serve a salad sparked with blue cheese or a strawberry spinach salad with passion fruit dressing with other authentic South American foods for a trip to that continent right from your own kitchen.
For a light meal, serve empanadas stuffed with cheese and ham, chicken, beef, corn or blue cheese. Other small meal options include a trademark Argentinian sandwich of chorizo or other sausage covered with chimichurri sauce or a humita, which is a dish made of fresh corn, milk, onions and spices that is popular in Peru, Chile and Bolivia.
For dinner, the primo meal in Argentina centers around beef. Whether you favor a rib-eye, filet mignon or sirloin, steak is the meat to choose. Short ribs are also a choice with Argentinian bona fides. Don't forget the chimichurri sauce with whichever of these cuts of beef you choose. Either goes great with a salad dressed in passion fruit dressing. Add Patagonian potatoes, a sort of pan-fried take on french fries; roasted potatoes with basil; roasted potatoes with vinegar and coarse salt; or french fries. You get the picture: Beef (preferably steak) and potatoes are an Argentinian staple. Choose what you like best, but stay with that basic plan, along with the salad, for a taste of South America.
For dessert, tres leches cake with dulce de leche, chocotorta with dulce de leche, chocolate mousse with pisco, rice pudding with raisins, queso y dulce or flan.