Add magic to summer meals with fruit

LOS ANGELES Fruits are not only refreshing, it's chock full of nutrients as well.

At Fresh Foods Café in Long Beach, Chef Drew Rosen explains how easy it is to marry fruit and protein for a refreshing summer meal.

"You get the nice, bright crispness of the fruit, and you can often pair it with fish or seafood, and sometimes even chicken or meat. And it just gives a great balance between the foods," Rosen said.

As it turns out, opposites really do attract, like crisp peaches together with smooth tuna fillet.

"We seared the peaches in a very hot pan, and the reason we do that is that we get a little bit of caramelization of the sugar in the fruit itself," Rosen said.

Another pair of polar opposites to tantalize the palate is feta cheese and watermelon.

Sweet, sliced watermelons, topped with crumbly feta cheese and tangy pickled cucumbers are perfect to cool down for those scorching hot summer days.

"The saltiness of the feta cheese really is outstanding with the sweetness of watermelons," Rosen said.

And while salsa is a staple at any party, a more colorful flavor is kicked up with some kiwi, red peppers, jalapenos and brown sugar. It's hot in trend, and hot in taste.

Pureed or chunky style, this new twist on a traditional favorite is the perfect topper for seafood or as a light dip for fresh veggies.

"It's spicy hot, and spicy really goes great with fruit because the fruityness is going to cool your palate off," Rosen said.

Another crazy combo is seared scallops topped with antioxidant rich blueberries or pomegranates, marinated in rice vinegar, orange juice and herbs. Surprisingly these flavors complement each other beautifully.

Rosen advises to make sure you have a very hot pan if you're looking to sear any fruit. There is such a high content of water that they'll boil or poach before they sear, unless your pan is extremely hot or your grill is extremely hot.

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