Summer is here and that means all you can eat, fresh at your finger tips, fruits and vegetables are in abundance. And if you're like me, you've been craving those fresh flavors since early spring, you really wanted those strawberries at the grocery but you also knew they weren't going to be their best, it just wasn't their time. But it is now!
I get asked to help with all kinds of showers, baby, bridal, wedding, birthdays, engagement and I love it. I get all excited thinking about what I'm going to make. Well for summer parties you can bet I'm going to make this fruit salad.
I know, 'whomp, whomp...fruit salad, big deal, nothing special.' But hold your horses, this recipe gets all the 'oooh's, ahh's, what's in this? Can I get the recipe?" remarks. Never judge a recipe by it's title. ;)
This is not just diced up fruit thrown into a bowl. This is carefully chosen, thought out flavors and texture combinations (Ok, not really, but those thoughts do cross my mind) blended and marinated in a combination of sweet, tart and clean.
Fruit Do's and Don'ts:
Do - choose a variety of bright colors. Think purple grapes, red strawberries, orange segments (pith removed)
Don't - use mushy or soft fruit as the base. i.e. bananas, kiwi, raspberries - use them, but as a garnish only
Do - use fruit that is in season.
Don't - use unripened fruit and think it will get softer after you peel it. It won't.
Do - look for unique additions. i.e. pomegranate seeds, dragon fruit and mango
Don't - use cantaloupe and honeydew...it's sooo over done, this is "Modern" think outside the rind.
Do - cut fruit in bite size pieces, roughly the same size. Your guests will appreciate it.
Don't - skip the mint, it's your secret ingredient that adds a clean crisp taste.
Stuff you'll need:
Makes about 10-12 servings as a side dish
FRUIT - these are my go-to selections but please use what you like.
1 bag of dark purple Grapes
4 large Honey Crisp Apples - skin on and diced
1 container of ripe Strawberries - leaves removed and sliced
3 large Navel Oranges - peeled and segments removed
1 large or 2 small containers of Blueberries
1 or 2 containers of Blackberries
1 Container of Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 Cup Orange Juice - I like Simply Orange
Juice and zest from 1 Large Lemon
Juice and zest from 1 Large Lime
1/4 Cup Honey
10 (ish) fresh mint leaves - chiffonade
Note - Lemon and lime juice - you don't have to use both but I highly recommend one or the other.
Add all marinade ingredients (except mint) to a small bowl and whisk until combined.
Wash and cut fruit to desired size, think bite size so guests don't have to fumble with it at the table. Combine all fruit into a large bowl with plenty of extra room to toss and mix fruit. Drizzle the marinade all over the fruit and sprinkle on the mint. Using a large spoon or spatula, scooping all the way down and under the fruit lightly mix to coat with the marinade. I add the raspberries when I'm pretty much finished tossing, otherwise they get mushy. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
Refrigerate up to an hour and serve immediately. Do not marinade for hours, once you cut the fruit it will begin to make its own juices. Adding more liquid will make everything mushy and the colors bleed. Soupy fruit salad is not what you're going for.
Serve in a large bowl on a buffet or in individual bowls at an intimate brunch. Enjoy this taste of summer!
NOTES - Make ahead
Chopping fruit can take a lot of time so it makes sense to prep ahead. But what you don't want to do is store red strawberries with yellow pineapple. The red fruits will bleed and make everything sort of pink and not so appealing. The fix? Go ahead and wash, peel, chop and dice all the fruit, then you can either place all the prepared fruit in separate storage containers or using a couple large bowls I'll group the dark fruit together (i.e. grapes, blueberries, blackberries) and keep the juicy fruit separate, like pineapple, and keep the cut apple by itself covered in lemon water to prevent browning.