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Tropical Fruits Brighten Winter Dishes

sweet and savory recipes using tropical fruit

If you've had your fill of comfort food and yearn for something fresh and light, turn to the tropics for winter’s seasonal fruits and vegetables. These sweet and savory recipes make the most of pineapples, bananas, avocados in fresh-tasting salads, curries, stir-fries, and more.


Seared Scallops with Blood Orange-Shallot Sauce

Though worthy of company, this dish is made with just a few ingredients. Blood orange juice gives the sauce a lovely color, but you could substitute any kind of orange juice as long as it’s freshly squeezed.

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Passionfruit & Citrus Salad with Coconut Meringues

Passionfruit, kiwi, mango, blood oranges, star fruit, and pineapple come together in a tropical salad that makes a refreshing winter dessert.

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Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp & Cashews

This classic Thai dish is full of contrasts: Tender rice is complemented by crunchy cashews; sweet pineapple and raisins bring out the salty backdrop of fish sauce; and fresh cilantro plays up the earthy notes in soy sauce.

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Tropical Mango Sorbet

Papaya and pineapple juice build on the clean, sweet flavor of mango in this sorbet, while a splash of coconut milk smoothes its texture.

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Avocado, Mango, and Pineapple Salad with Pistachios and Pickled Shallots

A shower of peppery greens balances the sweetness of the mango in this salad, and lets the avocado shine through.

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Tropical Upside-Down Cake

Here’s a dessert designed to beat the winter blues. Take one bite of this rum-spiked pineapple-mango cake, and you can practically hear steel drums playing an island tune.

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Pineapple, Papaya, Starfruit & Blood Orange Salad

One reviewer calls this vanilla-spiked salad “sunshine in a bowl” and the fresh mint is an especially refreshing accent.

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Millet Salad with Avocado & Citrus

Grain salads aren’t just for summer potlucks. This salad is the perfect way to brighten up grilled or roasted meat and seafood.

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Cherimoya-Lime Sorbet

Inside the scaly green skin of a ripe cherimoya lies sweet, smooth flesh that tastes like a combination of banana, pineapple, papaya, and strawberry. It’s custardy texture becomes airy and mousse-like in this dessert.

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Thai-Style Halibut & Banana Curry with Peanuts

Under- or barely-ripe bananas are a key ingredient in this quick curry. They’ll hold together in the sauce and they add a wonderful texture and body to the dish.

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Spicy Papaya Salad

This savory fruit salad is great with chicken, fish, or roast pork. The optional allspice is a nod to its Jamaican inspiration.

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Roasted Pineapple & Coconut Shortcakes

Move over, strawberries. Pineapple is delicious roasted and these shortcakes make a surprising winter dessert.

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Cold Avocado Soup with Chile-Lime Pepitas

Made sumptuous yet light by the yogurt base, this soup makes an elegant starter. Skillet-roasted pepitas with lime and chile add a welcome crunch.

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Glazed Pork Loin with Pineapple-Scallion Chutney

This twist on the classic pairing of pineapple and ham uses the fruit in a delicious maple-infused glaze and a sweet-spicy chutney for roast pork.

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