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Fairytale food? Dragon fruit is delicate and delicious

Now that summer has finally arrived in the Northeast, the farmers markets are brimming with warm weather bounty — strawberries and rhubarb, with blueberries and peaches not far behind.

But a more exotic find is making its way onto cocktail menus across the country. The dragon fruit is fast becoming the “it” fruit of the summer -- and Skyy Vodka recently introduced an elixir infused with it.

Grown mainly in Vietnam and South America, the dragon fruit’s bright fuchsia, slightly thorny exterior makes it a standout on fruit stands.

Even its growing process is slightly mysterious: they’re spawned from cactus flowers that only bloom at night. Despite its intriguing appearance, the dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya, has a very mild taste, not unlike a kiwi. (Like kiwis, its flesh is also dotted with edible black seeds.) While dragon fruit can be eaten on its own, it’s especially delightful in drinks. For cocktail hour, try mixing this drink from John Ginnetti, owner of 116 Crown in New Haven, CT.

The Devil Himself
Serves 1

  • The flesh of ¼ of a dragon fruit
  • 2 ounces Martin Miller’s Gin
  • ½ ounce Benedictine or another herbal liqueur
  • Prosecco for topping

In a Boston strainer mix the fruit, gin, Benedictine and ice. Shake all ingredients and transfer to a Collins glass. Top with prosecco before serving.

Since I’m seven months pregnant, an adult beverage is off-limits for me.  Instead, I combined the dragon fruit with some local strawberries I picked up at my farmers market and made a refreshing, healthy smoothie.

Strawberry Dragon Fruit Smoothie
Makes 2 smoothies

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 dragon fruit, quartered, with skin removed
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, halved
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until desired consistency.

Get more tips and recipes for seasonal eats at Made By Michelle.