Toothless Sunshine loves dragon fruit

Our house is all about dragons right now.

The dragon connection started in an odd way. My jeans fell apart, because I’m cheap, and I don’t enjoy buying expensive jeans, but I enjoy wearing them (see frugal article here). So while my jeans had become unwearable due to air conditioning in the nether regions, I wasn’t able to let them go. So I made a pocket purse for my daughter.

In the name of fairness, I offered my son a homemade gift of his choice. His confident request – “A dragon.” I did myself some googling, and found this pattern for a dragon. I was disappointed that the creators of the pattern hadn’t managed to find the perfect dragon fabric that I did – green velour with green sequins – so I smugly walked away from Fabricland and made the very first object of my son’s affection, Toothless Sunshine.


Let me just take a time out to say that I’m a giant feminist, and that I proudly own my love for cooking, sewing, and parenting as a personal choice afforded to a liberated woman. Let’s move on.

Toothless Sunshine

Anyway, as we were in the spirit of dragons, I picked up this fruit

Dragon fruit

at our beloved No Frills grocery store and told my son it was a dragon fruit (pitaya). He begged to try it.

Sliced dragon fruitI searched for dragon fruit recipes in an attempt to make something interesting, but didn’t find much beyond sexy fruit plates. I was glad I hadn’t chosen those, because it turns out dragon fruit is quite bland. It looks very cool – fuschia with seedy pulp – but it’s less sweet and tart than a kiwi, which it’s often compared to due to its consistency, even though the dragon fruit is actually the fruit of a cactus.

I finally found a recipe for dragon fruit salsa over scallops, which I won’t even credit because their creation had so few ingredients it was basically dragon fruit and lemon juice (and we’ve already established that dragon fruit has a super boring flavour). I used their scallop/salsa idea, though, and created this:

Seared Scallops and Dragon Fruit Salsa (serves 2)

  • 6 large scallops
  • A few Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ripe dragon fruit (gives slightly to touch, like a ripe mango or avocado), diced
  • 1 small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small handful dried cranberries
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • One chopped chili if desired

Directions: Heat oil over med high heat, approx. 2 mins. Add scallops and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

ScallopsCook 2-3mins per side, until white and firm on the exterior (scored and slightly darkened if barbequing, but it’s winter and I was cold, so I chose the pan). Meanwhile, combine salsa ingredients. Serve scallops topped with salsa.

Scallops and dragon fruit salsa

Results: Nice! My husband said, “Let’s keep this in mind for when we’re entertaining.” (Or something like that, I wasn’t totally listening). I included the dried cranberries to add a touch of sweetness where the dragon fruit was lacking, and the onions and cilantro answered that salsa freshness expectation. The dragon fruit made the whole thing pretty, and added a cool, crisp texture. Exotic, fresh, and tasty. Rating: 3 Yums

Toothless Sunshine will serve this recipe to his fire breathing friends for sure.

Wine Pairing: suggests that scallops pair well with pinot gris, so I’ll suggest Bestheim Réserve Pinot Gris 2011, Alsace, selling for $15.95 in Ontario.

Pinot Gris


  1. Leave a Reply

    Heather Sccott
    February 22, 2013

    Ann, another hidden talent! Reid must have been thrilled,it looks amazing.Like the reference to being a giant feminist!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      February 22, 2013

      Thanks! It was very fun to make – on the sewing machine I gratefully inherited from Meta.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite
    February 22, 2013

    This post has been nagging at the back of my mind for awhile now and I finally figured out why. I have seen dragon fruit at the store and always wanted to try it! But with a ten dollar price tag I have always passed. My pocket book is happy I didn’t spend ten bucks on a food that on its own turned out to be rather bland, but it’s kinda like a dream has died. I shall never look at the dragon fruit the same again! I may try dried cranberries with my scallops next time though and I am pretty sure that will make me happy.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      February 25, 2013

      It’s definitely pretty, but not $10 pretty, in my opinion! I don’t think I paid anywhere near that price. That food is probably more local for us, though, here in tropical Toronto in the middle of winter…

  3. Leave a Reply

    January 29, 2017

    Glad yours turned out better than mine did! I saw that same recipe on Food Network, and also decided to modify the salsa. My modification was a flop. I’ll have to try your version next time.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 29, 2017

      Aw, I’ve had my share of failures for sure! Thanks for stopping in, nice to meet you. 🙂

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