A Fragrant Fruit Salad

July 12, 2013

I LOVE THIS FRUIT SALAD. It’s dressed with honey and lime juice. It’s scented with fresh mint. And it’s absolutely delicious for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.

Feel free to alter quantities and/or fruit-selection. But please don’t alter the dressing. It’s heavenly!

A Fragrant Fruit Salad
Ingredients for 10-12 one-cup servings
1/4 honey dew melon, cubed
1 lb strawberries, sliced
2 peaches, chopped
2-3 cups blueberries
3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
10 mint leaves, thinly sliced

Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
The zest and juice of one lime

Take one 1/4 of a honey dew melon…

And cut it in half.

Slice the flesh lengthwise just to the rind (but not through the rind), as pictured above.

Then make 1/4-inch-wide, crosswise cuts. The wedge, as you can see, will now lay flat.

Holding your knife parallel to the rind, make a long, horizontal cut…

And poof! You’ve got bite-size morsels of melon.

Drop the melon morsels into a big bowl.

Repeat the above steps with the remaining wedge of honey dew.

Now grab a pint of strawberries, and patiently hull them (remove their leaves and stems) with a paring knife.

True confession: I have no patience for hulling strawberries.  I simply cut off their tops.

I know my secret is safe with you.

Slice the smaller berries in half. Slice the larger ones into thirds or fourths.

Add the berries to the bowl.

Next, take a couple of perfectly ripe peaches…

And slice and dice them into bite-size pieces.

I used Georgia peaches for my fruit salad. Georgia peaches are the best peaches in the world.*

*I have not tasted Connecticut peaches.

Add the peaches to the bowl.

For incredible color and taste, add two cups of blueberries.

Next, bribe someone into peeling 3 tropical kiwis for you.

Note: Kiwi is a pain in the neck to peel. But its interior is so beautiful that you absolutely, positively have to include it in your fruit salad.

Cut the kiwi into rounds, and then slice each round in half. Gently place the kiwi in the bowl.

Note: Do not slice your kiwi too thinly. Otherwise, it will break apart when you toss the salad.

Green, seedless grapes are always welcome in a fruit salad. But some people (not you, of course), who try to get away with adding them whole.

Can you guess what happens when you try to stab a whole grape with a fork?

That’s right. It rolls off the plate, and onto the floor.

Consequently, you have to slice each and every grape in half. Halved grapes are stable grapes. They are also stab-able.

Well, just be grateful we don’t have to peel the grapes.

Pop Quiz! Tell me the name of the actress who, in 1933, uttered the line  “Beulah, peel me a grape.”

We might as well slice up some red grapes, too.

Add the grapes to the salad bowl.

And are you thinking what I’m thinking?

A well-made fruit salad is a labor of love. Emphasis on “labor.”

Fortunately the rest of our work is easy.

Stack together 10 (or more) mint leaves…

And roll them up, cigar-like.

Cut the cigar crosswise, into very thin slices.

Note: Do not use the cutting technique you see pictured above. I had to cut my mint with my left hand, while holding a camera with my right hand.

I hope you appreciate these dangerous feats I perform on your behalf.

There. We’ve just created what the French call a “chiffonade of mint.”

The strands of my chiffonade are much to wide. But it was the best I could do while holding a camera.

Your strips will look far superior to mine.

In a highly-dramatic gesture, scatter the mint over the fruit…

And then slowly and gently toss the salad with a rubber spatula. A teal-colored spatula will work best.

Now grab a lime…

And grate its peel. If you have a micro-zester, by all means use it.

Set the grated peel aside for a moment.

Cut the lime in half, and juice each half into a small yellow bowl.

Add one 1/4 cup of honey…

And the lime zest…

And then mix them altogether with a spoon.

Pour the sauce over the salad…

And then gently, gently toss the salad again. When you are finished,  every piece will shimmer like starlight.

Cover and refrigerate the salad for a few hours, or for up to 3 days.

Folks, I’ve enjoyed this fruity fantasy for breakfast all by itself. I’ve also enjoyed it for lunch, atop a bed of yogurt or cottage cheese. And its really, really awesome for dessert, too, when served in a shallow goblet, and splashed with champagne.

Promise me you’ll try this salad before summer — and fresh, in-season fruit — are history.

For handy reference, here’s a copy-and-paste version without photographs:

A Fragrant Fruit Salad
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House (dot) com
Ingredients for 10-12 one-cup servings
1/4 honey dew melon, cubed
1 lb strawberries, sliced
2 peaches, chopped
2-3 cups blueberries
3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
10 mint leaves, thinly sliced

Glaze: 1/4 cup honey, combined with the zest and juice of one lime

Pour all of the fruit into a bowl; sprinkle the thinly-sliced mint leaves on top. Gently toss with a rubber spatula. Then pour the glaze over the salad, and gently toss again. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days.

Serve as is, or atop a bed of yogurt or cottage cheese. For dessert, pour the fruit into individual goblets, along with a splash of good champagne.

Does this salad appeal to you? You can let me know by leaving a comment. As always, I love hearing from you.

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Related Posts:
English Cream Scones
Sunday Brunch: Creamy Gratin of Hard Boiled Eggs
Easy Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Comments

  1. Pepi Noble says:

    Delightful – will make it this weekend and for a board meeting so we aren’t too bored. But a question – does the bowl have to be yellow?

  2. Marjean says:

    Beautiful as usual, Kevin. I have a trip to the local farm/fruit stand planned for tomorrow. Last time I was there I bought some white peaches that were divinely fragrant and tasty. I’ll have to settle for yellow ones this trip. The local cherries are almost gone but we’re in the middle of blueberry harvest now, so a bunch of those will come home with me. Looks like a fruit salad is on the menu for this weekend.

    Years ago when we lived in Western Washington, our local grocery store would bring in cases of late peaches and pears from Wenatchee, Washington. They were supersized fruits that the processors didn’t want because they were too big for their machinery. I canned those in wide mouthed jars, layering peach and pear halves in light syrup. I think those late Elberta and Hale peaches would give your Georgia peaches a good run for the title of best peach!

  3. Martha Ellen says:

    Kevin this fruit looks divine! I found a new way to work with kiwi–Cut the unpeeled fruit along the equator, then scoop out the fruit with spoon. You are able to get out the kiwi in one piece. You can then slice or dice kiwi to your liking. I enjoy your blog very much! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pepi Noble – Wanna liven up that board meeting? Add champagne (or Prosecco) to the fruit salad dressing.

    Marjean – Would be fun to have a Battle of the Peaches. I’ve tried Washington State peaches, and yes — they are delicious. (Oh. My father was born in Wenatchee.)

    Martha Ellen – Thanks for the Kiwi tip. Love it!

  5. Cherylann McGuire says:

    Lovely, and I cannot wait to try this!

  6. Cherylann McGuire says:

    Yes, and I am looking forward to trying the kiwi tip as well – even though they are delicious, I have avoided them because they are a pain to peel…

  7. Brenda Johnson says:

    Um…. will there be leftovers available tomorrow? I’ll be nearby!

  8. Marianne L says:

    I suppose the salad would be ruined if I used a yellow spatula and a teal bowl? Your salad is beautiful!

  9. Nikki says:

    Wow – looks fantastic! We have delicious peaches from the Niagara region in Ontario too. :)

  10. mike says:

    “Kevin, peel me a grape.”

    Mae West, “I’m No Angel”

  11. Mike – Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! Yes, Mae West.

  12. Brenda Johnson says:

    This fruit salad is truly the best! Bright summer flavors that buzz with the addition of the honey lime dressing (which I drank the remains of right from my bowl!) I would never have thought that mint could add such a special level of “wow” to this salad either- but boy does it! Really gives it a lively pop! Perfect food for these steamy days!!! (and no need to have an oven on!) Thank you Kevin! (did you find your bowl? I had my niece leave it on your porch….)

  13. Jane says:

    This is a gorgeous salad, Kevin! I can’t wait to try the lime.honey dressing. Thank you!

    XO,
    Jane

  14. Joni Davis says:

    Perfect! Am having company next weekend – guess what we are having for breakfast! Am sure this is as wonderful as all of your recipes are!!! Thank You!

  15. Laura says:

    Day five of hospital food during my first chemo treatment– you cannot imagine how good this looks to me! First thing I will make when I am home again. The mint in the garden is lovely right now and the blueberries are ready to pick,too.

  16. Colleen Carroll-Nisbett says:

    I wish I could make this yummy salad, but I do not own a yellow bowl. Wait now, it is because I am allergic to honey!! Lol

  17. Martha says:

    Hi Kevin

    NY and PA also have wonderful peaches. The trick is to buy from the orchard or a fruit stand.
    I, too, love fruit salad and I love this version.

  18. Marjie Butler says:

    Thank you!!!!!

  19. Kate says:

    Kevin – I’m gonna make this ASAP!

  20. Lauralei says:

    Beautiful, delicious and nutritious. I am going to try this, and will use the dressing on other dishes as well.

  21. Marilyn Foster says:

    I make the same salad, but with lemon zest and juice. When I lived in Anchorage, AK, my B & B guests loved it and couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I’m looking forward to trying it with lime tonight! Thanks for the lovely blog!

  22. Christina Giordano says:

    About the movie line you mentioned – it’s from the 1933 film “I’m No Angel” staring Mae West. Her famous line in this film, Beulah, peel me a grape,” was inspired by her pet monkey, Boogie. The monkey loved grapes, and one day West noticed that although he would eat grapes by the dozens, he would always peel the skin off each one before popping it into his mouth.

  23. Anna says:

    Your Sunday morning e-mail is my guilty pleasure! I have done a fruit salad like this but have a question about the mint. Mine seems to turn dark if I do it too far ahead and looks pretty unappetizing. Should I “never” prepare it ahead or could it have something to do the the lime’s acidity. Thanks so very much!

  24. Annie B says:

    Oh…a definite for this week…beautiful.

  25. Dori says:

    I had a hard time reading this recipe because my mouth was watering so much.

  26. Victoria says:

    I love fruit salad especially with regular lime or calamansi lime. And I discovered a little by accident that a tiny splash of tequila is also really delicious on fruit salad.

  27. Cathy Haynes says:

    OK Kevin, now I’m going to have to make this! You’ve got me drooling!

  28. Susan L. Espersen says:

    Quite often, I read recipes and think, “If only I had fresh ……….. !” Guess what? I have a new patch of fresh mint, inspired by your blog, I might add! I was warned that it would try to escape and take over the neighborhood, so I am weeding the edges diligently. Thanks again for a wonderful blog. You know, I never read your posts right away. Instead, I save them until I have dutifully deleted the nonsense from my daily barrage of messages and filed my remaining worthwhile emails, and THEN I pat myself on the back, settle in with a cup of tea, and enjoy every moment I spend reading your gardening, decorating, or cooking suggestions! Thank you so much!

  29. Cynthia says:

    Love this time of the year, fresh fruit, fresh men, cold wine…..yummy

  30. Donna says:

    Kevin,

    This recipe sounds delicious—except for the honey! I do not like the taste of honey. Hopeing the lime juice will ‘kill’ the taste for me. Otherwise, what can I substitute it with?

  31. Laurel says:

    I have never developed a taste for blueberries except in muffins. Otherwise I love fruit salads and this one is truly inviting. A RIPE Honeydew melon is truly hard to find – growers are just to anxious to make a dollar from selling them. I will have to try to put this fruit salad together – the problem is getting hold of ALL the ingredients at one time.

    I just have to add my own comment on peaches. Growing up, it was a rare treat to have white peaches (too expensive) but oh so delish. For yellow peaches, it was a few years ago I had the opportunity to get some from Colorado and they were the absolute best. The largest, sweetest, and juiciest I have ever encountered. Well, maybe I have occassionally seen larger, but not in normal sources. The Colorado peaches are slightly later than other varieties we get here in Wisconsin. The season runs: Imported (almost anytime), Georgia, Elberta (from various locations) and Michigan, Colorado, and continuing Imported.

    But I remember, growing up there weren’t all these choices. Peaches were either Cling or Freestone, period. It didn’t matter where they came from. And you could darn well bet they were not shipped from long distances like they are today and not picked so green that they never “ripen” properly.

  32. Laurel says:

    For Susan Espersen – Warning!

    That diligent weeding will grow old eventually and the Mint will have it’s own way. In Southern California my grandparents grew a lot of exotic plants. Located in the lawn, close by the house they had a Loquat tree and a faucet under it. The faucet had a perpetual drip and my Grandmother grew Mint around that faucet. Somehow that Mint stayed in just that area. Back in those days I didn’t pay that much attention to details of gardening. I guess mowing of the lawn probably had a lot to do with keeping the Mint under control. Plus my Grandmother had a rule that every time she crossed the lawn to the garden she had to pick a weed from the lawn.

    As for my own experience with Mint….I purchased a small pot and planted it at the back of the house – South side. There is only about 15 feet of space from the back of the house and the woods. I figured that didn’t leave the Mint too much space to escape into. Wellllll. Sort of. The Mint has migrated from where I planted it to another area at the back of the house and has died out where I originally planted it. All well and good – no problem. I am not sure of the method of further expansion to East of the house. There is an area that I used as a holding area for potted plants before they supposedly were planted elsewhere. Note the supposedly planted elsewhere. There are still some of those pots there with I have to admit to a Jungle around them. The Jungle contains escapees from the pots as well a seedlings from the potted plants. That Jungle also is host to Mint that I do not know where it came from – some of the pots came from friends and often contained extras besides the originally intended occupant. I have acquired several clumps of Balloon Flower that way. Back to the Mint! I now have Mint in a flower bed in front of the house (North facing). All I can say is some of the pots from the East holding area were planted in the North bed, BUT I was not aware of having transferred any Mint. There is one, maybe amusing, thing about this latest expansion. I have a patch just outside of the far end of the flower bed where the Mint and Creeping Charlie are having a “king of the mountain” battle for the ground. Mint seems to have the upper hand but is not spreading out of that area. Charlie is refusing to conceed defeat but definitely not looking healthy. Who wins? I think I might settle it. Neither of them wins, I do, when I get to cleaning out that area and rip them both out! lol.

    Who knows where else I may find that the Mint has migrated to. Maybe for my next round of entertainment i’ll introduce Mint to Stinging Nettle. Hmmm. Who would win that one ???

  33. Teresa Barnard says:

    Colleen you can use sugar in place of the honey. I’ve made this salad using both and it is usually the most requested recipe and also there are never any “leftover” to take home. It’s definately one of my go to favorites for cookouts and parties.

  34. Beverly, zone 6 eastern PA says:

    I am refreshed just scrolling down through the photographs. I will be making this.

    I grow many mints: Apple Mint, Chocolate Mint, Curly Spearmint, Water Mint, Black Peppermint, but the best story comes with “French Restaurant Mint”…
    My brother, my husband and I dined at a Thai restaurant in rural western France in 2004. A piece of mint laid on the dessert plate as a garnish. I recognized it as a mint I did not already grow. I wrapped its cut end with a napkin, dipped it into the water glass and carried the damp treasure back to my brother’s nearby chateau. It was tenderly recut and placed in a jar of water. We traveled on to Paris, sans jar, and the mint cutting graduated to the hotel ash tray where my note to the maid said “Touche non”(“don’t touch”, or my best approximation thereof.) Two days later, the piece went into my suitcase wrapped in a plastic baggie and wet towel and grew roots over the Atlantic Ocean. It was installed in my garden in a sunken, bottomless pot and has rewarded me ever since with its delightful aroma and flavor.
    Most of my mints are in bottomless pots with a 2″ rim sticking up above ground level, and are observed carefully as they invariably attempt to escape. I am ruthless with my pruners when needed.
    Tiny pollinators find what they love in the mint blossoms which range from lilac to cream to white. Every year I see a totally new insect here in my organic yard and gardens.
    There’s so much to be thankful for even on this hideously hot day when my CAR DIED! Your blog is one of those things for which I am thankful. (cross file this under November’s holiday…) Thanks for cheering me up, Kevin!

  35. Kate says:

    Definitely an inviting salad – will try it as soon as peaches are ripe! Do you like your lime/lemon juicer? Is it easy to use? Thank you for sharing!!

  36. Karen Carpenter says:

    Kevin, thank you for another wonderful recipe. This looks so delicious, my mouth is watering. I am definitely going to make this for my next summer get together.

  37. Donna Cota says:

    I made this lovely fruit salad for a family gathering and it was a big hit, thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

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