It's prickly-pear season and Ken Harvey, the executive chef at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort at 7000 N. Resort Drive is making the best of it. He's using the vibrantly colored fruit in a variety of interesting ways, according to a few e-mails I've gotten from the resort's public relations people in recent weeks:
Thanks for your interest in Chef Harvey. The dishes I'm aware of are a salad, a popsicle, a margarita and an ice tea all using the prickly pears.
A few days went by and I got another missive explaining all the ways Chef Harvey is using the delicious little desert fruits:
One of the juices served at brunch uses prickly pear juice and watermelon juice
Prickly pear is used with sauerkraut in the Canyon Cafe "Reuben"
It's used in a prickly pear salad dressing: prickly pear juice, sweet vinegar (apple cider or red wine), oil, raspberries or strawberries
The juice is also cooked down with sugar to create a glaze for chicken and fish
That's what I'm talking about. There's more on the resort and its restaurants over here.