Think of treating your better half to a little something unique this Valentine’s Day? Think cactus pear, baby pineapples, passion fruit, pomegranate, jicama and ghost peppers (for your hottie) from Melissa’s, our signature premium produce partners. We love them!

Spiralizer Fruit Stack with Cactus Pear-Passion Fruit Caramel Sauce



Recipe by Melissa’s Corporate Chef Tom Fraker

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 min.

Cook Time: 8 min.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:
  • 1 red cactus pear, peeled; diced small
  • 1 passion fruit, pulp removed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
For the stack:
  • 1 small jicama, peeled
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple
  • 1 Asian pear, rinsed
  • 2 kiwi, peeled; diced
  • 1 Melissa’s South African baby pineapple, peeled; diced
  • 1 package Melissa’s pomegranate arils

Directions:

Place all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Simmer over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, stirring often, until it becomes a smooth caramel color. Set aside.

Using a Spiral Slice Blade (Large Core), process the jicama and set aside.

Using a Spiral Slice Blade (Small Core), process the apple and Asian pear.

On two plates, place some of the jicama and top with some diced kiwi and pineapple. Top that with some red apple, topped with some kiwi and pineapple.

Top that with some Asian pear, topped with kiwi and pineapple.

Drizzle the stacks with some caramel sauce, garnish with the arils and serve.




Roasted Butternut Soup with Ghost Chile Sauce



By Melissa’s Chef Tom Fraker

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 30 min.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:
  • 3½ lbs. Melissa’s red cactus pear, peeled
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ fresh Bhut Jolokia chiles
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ½ pouch or 1.5 ounces liquid pectin
For the Soup:
  • 1 (2 lb.) Melissa's Butternut Squash -- peeled; cubed
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Market District extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Melissa’s Maui onion, chopped
  • 2 Melissa's peeled garlic, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. dry sherry
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled & diced
  • 3½ cups Market District chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Pico de Gallo seasoning

Directions:

Place the cactus pear in a pot. Add the water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, mash the cactus pears and stir in the sugar and the chiles.

Boil for about 20 minutes until the sauce thickens and sticks to the back of a spoon.

Next, carefully purée mixture in a blender and strain back into a clean pot.

Now add the bourbon and boil for 5 minutes.

Stir in the pectin and let cool.

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

In a bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place in the oven until browned and fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Add the diced tomatoes and sherry.

Boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 7-8 minutes.

Add the squash and apples then stir in the chicken stock or broth and bring to boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer to incorporate the flavors, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Purée the soup with a hand mixer being careful not to splash, as the soup will be very hot. Purée until very smooth. If the soup is too thick, add chicken stock.

Stir in the pico de gallo seasoning, place in serving bowls and garnish with the Ghost Chile Sauce.