Fresh fruit adds a sweet smack to summer dishes. Whether chopped, sliced or whole, puréed, raw or cooked, a punch of juicy fruit packs seasonal flavor and an assortment of healthy vitamins, as well as fiber. Here are some Edina restaurant menu items that showcase fruit at its best.
Good-tasting and good for you, fruit enhances so many dishes, from smoothies to cheese plates and salads, Asian spring rolls and sushi to tarts and cupcakes. Here are some Edina restaurant menu items that showcase fruit at its best.
Shrimp Salad with Papaya
Legend has it that Christopher Columbus called papayas the “fruit of the angels.” With a crop that peaks in summer and early fall, papayas make a wonderful warm-weather salad topper. This shrimp salad with papaya combines sweet, buttery papaya with savory avocado in a housemade orange-peel vinaigrette. “The dressing is something I came up with a few years ago and it was so popular,” says Mark Campbell, executive chef. Fresh orange peel, ginger root, shallots, Dijon mustard and white vinegar flavor an olive oil base. Savor your salad with a selection from Beaujo’s more than 30 wine offerings. A glass of crisp sauvignon blanc has slight acidic notes and tart apple perfume that will bring out the subtle flavors of this salad. $16.75. 4950 France Ave. S.; 952.922.8974.
White Peach Berry Smoothie
Whirled with a mix of healthy ingredients and crushed ice, a fruit smoothie can quench a desert-sized thirst. Caribou Coffee’s white peach berry smoothie is a froth of fruit enlivened by white peach and mixed berry purées. Available year-round, “the white peach berry smoothie offers a smooth and refreshing, yet filling, combination of all-natural ingredients and pureés,” says Michele Vig, vice president of marketing. For dairy-rich creaminess and more sweetness, cap your smoothie with a topping of whipped cream. Pair with a mini doughnut muffin for a near meal-sized snack. $3.99–4.69; 4408 France Ave. S.; 952.926.7086 or 6803 York Ave. S.; 952.929.4734 (available at all locations).
Fresh Fruit Tart
Bring on the berries! Cocoa & Fig celebrates berry season with a simple yet sublime tart made with high-quality fruit that needs no glaze. “We try to use the freshest seasonal fruit and let the fruit speak for itself,” says Cocoa & Fig owner Laurie Pyle, an acclaimed pastry chef. Everything is made the old-fashioned way—from scratch using the best ingredients available, in keeping with the Cocoa & Fig motto, “Make it taste as good as it looks!” The buttery pastry shell gets a slather of rich filling made from cream cheese infused with lemon zest. A power fruit mix of berries crowns the top. 3½-inch tart $4, miniature tarts $2, 9-inch square tart $30; preorder to ensure availability. Yorkdale Shoppes, 6807 York Ave. S; 952.926.2764.
Fancy Ninja Roll
A signature dish for Nakamori, the fancy ninja roll was created to suit American tastes. Fruit is not usually included in sushi in Japan. But fruit adds acidic tart-sweetness that complements the slight saltiness of raw fish. Rich avocados encase the fancy ninja rolls with earthy green butter-like richness. Inside is a kaleidoscope of yellowtail white fish, fresh pineapple, avocado and rice to form intricate beaded patterns. Splashes of fresh-made mango sauce and other condiments create artsy puddles adorning an oversized serving plate. Just opened in February, this bistro took its name from Japanese word for “center of the forest.” Here the woods harbor elegant food. $15. 7101 France Ave. S., Suite 113; 952.920.9980.
Fresh Mango Spring Roll
Seasonal spring rolls stuffed with chunks of mango and toasted coconut shreds are truly one of a kind. “No other restaurant does this,” says An Nguyen, owner. The exotic fruit bursts with juicy tropical spiciness light as an ocean breeze. The ever-changing lineup of spring rolls at Rice Paper reads like a seasonal produce calendar: champagne grape, Fuji apple, pomegranate and crisp pear. Made fresh daily during each shift, spring rolls are Rice Paper’s signature dish, filled with subtle touches that form a harmonious whole that is truly a labor of love. $9.95 for special rolls. 3948 W. 50th St.; 952.288.2888.
Artisan Cheese Plate
Have a little cheese with that fruit. Fresh seasonal fruits, top-shelf cheeses, candied nuts, sweet honey drizzles and a crispy grilled baguette make an eye-catching display on a large-enough-to-share board. Sweet berries and other peak-of-season fruits contrast with the salty creaminess of the cheese. Two to four varieties of cheese present hard and soft textures, mild freshness to aged sharp blues. “We’re bringing good local artisan cheeses and other good ingredients, not the usual suspects,” says Stephen Jones, Salut executive chef. More play on texture comes from the bread-honey-nut selection. This artisan cheese plate adds real French charm to a meal, whether as a refreshingly light starter plate or truly continental dessert. $8.95 serves 2, $11.95 (with four varieties of cheese) serves 4. 5034 France Ave. S.; 952.929.3764.
Strawberry Balsamic Cupcake
The strawberry balsamic is no ordinary cupcake. This seasonal feature comes stuffed to the core with a dense housemade strawberry balsamic jam inside a super-moist vanilla cake. The complementary tastes of strawberries and balsamic vinegar are made for each other in this taste sensation with sophisticated European style. Even the frosting has an Italianate bent. Picture creamy, rich mascarpone cheese whipped to feathery light perfection. A painterly drizzle of chocolate-brown balsamic reduction adds pizazz for the eye and tongue. No wonder the strawberry balsamic cupcake has a year-round following eagerly anticipating its summer return. $3 each, $33 per dozen, $17 per dozen minis. Call ahead for large orders and minis. 5013 France Ave. S.; 612.353.6230.