Carambola (star fruit)

Look for bright yellow, firm, fragrant fruit. If edges are green, ripen at room temperature.

Cut crosswise, these golden fruits yield beautiful five-point stars. Fresh slices make a lovely garnish for drinks or desserts. Instead of pineapple rings, use star fruit slices for upside-down cake.

For a festive salad, combine 6 cups baby spinach leaves, 1 cup fresh grapefruit pieces, and 2 sliced carambola in a bowl. Mix 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; drizzle over salad, toss, and serve.

Brush carambola stars with lemon juice, sprinkle with raw sugar, broil, and serve over ice cream.

Photo: tina rupp