Dried Fruits-Rehydrated

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homemade dried fruit mix“If food is my art form,” says Chef John Paul, “then texture and visual quality need as much emphasis as taste.” Just how does he achieve this balance of flavor, appearance, and texture? One way is by incorporating dried fruits in savory dishes.

At John Paul’s eponymous gourmet deli in Pukalani, he sprinkles cranberries atop wild-rice salad, tosses apricots into couscous, and smears fig spread on ham-and-swiss sandwiches. He recommends reconstituting dried fruits with elements that enhance their flavors—soaking figs in wine, for instance.

“I reconstitute the figs with a white, usually a sauvignon, to draw more of the sweetness of the fig,” says John Paul. “I use a red wine, usually a pinot with strong fruit notes, to help balance the tartness of the cranberry.”

Thanks for the sweet suggestions, chef!

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