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Home with the Lost Italian: Fruit salad, mimosas celebrate simply extraordinary feat

My sister-in-law, another Sarah, did something extraordinary last Saturday. She ran and completed her first half-marathon as part of the Fargo Marathon event. What makes this so extraordinary is that Sarah had never run more than 4 or 5...

Orange juice is squeezed over fruit with chopped mint.Dave Wallis / The Forum
Orange juice is squeezed over fruit with chopped mint. Dave Wallis / The Forum
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FARGO — My sister-in-law, another Sarah, did something extraordinary last Saturday. She ran and completed her first half-marathon as part of the Fargo Marathon event. What makes this so extraordinary is that Sarah had never run more than 4 or 5 miles continuously before starting her training regimen earlier this year. Even further, she gave birth to her second child, baby Sadie, just last September. She is my hero of the week.

I grew up in a big corner house on South Ninth Street, and my parents still live in that house. When the course for the marathon changed back in 2009 due to the flood-of-the-century, we were delighted to learn that the new route would include Ninth Street. Lucky for us, the crowds on our street were so enthusiastic that the race officials decided to keep Ninth Street on the course, even when there was no threat of spring flooding. We will be forever grateful for that decision, as my entire family now looks forward to that special Saturday in May.

When Mark Knutson first envisioned hosting a marathon in Fargo, I wonder if he had any idea how greatly this event would impact our city. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did, because he was certainly a man with a vision. What people like Mark and other visionaries in our community have been able to do for our community is simply extraordinary.

Just look at the revitalization of downtown Fargo. When I was a teenager in the 1980s, downtown Fargo was a wasteland of strangely placed concrete pillars and clunky steel canopies. Vacant storefronts were present on every block, and it wasn’t uncommon to see a straggly tumbleweed bouncing down Broadway on a windy day.

Gone were the stores and businesses I’d loved as a little girl, like Woolworth’s and its lunch counter, Leeby’s market with their amazing donuts and elegant department stores like Herbst, where I could always find a perfect gift for my mother.

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Now, thanks to the dedication of exceptional entrepreneurs, artists and artisans, business leaders and community builders, our downtown has become a source of pride throughout the city. A true renaissance has occurred, complete with our own boutique hotel, fabulous restaurants, a downtown North Dakota State University campus, an iconic theater, a wide variety of shops and galleries and more.

And, if you know where to look, you will even stumble into some of our city’s best hidden treasures, like BernBaum bagels, the new bagel shop located in the Mid Mod Madhaus vintage store on Roberts Street. (Seriously, these are some of the best bagels on the planet.)

Last Saturday as we cheered on the runners, we feasted on BernBaum bagels topped with a simple mix of cream cheese and fresh chives, thinly sliced tomatoes and a generous heap of smoked salmon. Our spread also included a gorgeous fruit salad, a favorite wherever I take it, featuring a mix of fresh melons, pineapple, berries and kiwi.

The secret to this salad is the simple addition of one orange, freshly squeezed over the fruit, and freshly chopped mint.

As the race progressed, we sipped on prosecco mimosas filled with fresh fruit, waiting for Sarah Anstett to arrive. We screamed our hearts out as she approached our corner, grinning from ear to ear as she hugged her son Connor, husband Joe and baby Sadie before returning to the road, off to finish her race.

By the end of the race, we were all aglow with pride - for Sarah and her accomplishment, as well as all the runners, and for Fargo, our fair and extraordinary city.

Simply Extraordinary Fresh Fruit Salad

Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

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1 cup chopped watermelon, cubed

1 cup chopped cantaloupe, cubed

1 cup chopped honeydew, cubed

1 cup chopped pineapple, cubed

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup fresh blackberries

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2 kiwi, cut into half-moon slices

Juice from 1 orange

6 leaves fresh mint, cut chiffonade style

Directions:

In a large serving bowl, add the melon and pineapple. Squeeze about half of the orange juice over the melon and gently mix to combine. Add the blueberries and strawberries and gently mix again, just to combine.

Top with raspberries, blackberries and kiwi and squeeze the rest of the orange over the fruit. Sprinkle the top with the fresh mint and gently toss again, just to combine. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • To save time, buy the melon and pineapple pre-cut from your grocer’s produce cooler.
  • Always wash fruit before serving, including delicate fruit like berries. Air dry before adding to salad.
  • To “chiffonade” the mint, stack the leaves in a pile, starting with the largest on the bottom. Roll lengthways and cut from end to end in 1/8-inch strips.
  • To make fresh fruit mimosas, fill a pitcher with orange juice and add 2 to 3 cups of the salad. For best results, refrigerate overnight. Fill a glass halfway with prosecco and top with chilled orange juice and marinated fresh fruit.

Home With the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owns Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their 11-year-old son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at dine@sarellos.com.

Related Topics: RECIPESFOOD
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