Simple Red Fruit Salad

Red fruit salad, arguably better than old-school fruit salad. Made with plump strawberries, sweet cherries, lemon zest, and coriander brown sugar. Five ingredients. So good.

Simple Red Fruit Salad

A favorite red fruit salad, and arguably so much better than old-school fruit salad! It's perfect as spring rounds the bend into summer. A simple, seasonal fruit salad made with plump strawberries, sweet cherries, lemon zest, and coriander brown sugar. Five ingredients. So good.

Simple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown Sugar

And when I say simple, I'm not kidding. For a bit of something special, I ground a bit of brown sugar with coriander seeds to add to the fruit, liking the way the coriander's citrusy, green notes played off the flavor of the strawberries and cherries. Just a little tweak, but enough to bring a hint of unexpectedness to a bowl of radiant, seasonal fruit. If you're stuck on traditional fruit salad, consider making the jump to a red fruit salad!

Simple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown SugarFruit Salad

I first started making this fruit salad in the early days of the QUITOKEETO project, when a lot of it was happening at the house. Laugh/ cry. Friends would stop by and just shake their heads. The towers of boxes, the tape guns, the bins of items we'd sourced - it was all a bit much. We did many shipments from the dining room and kitchen island, and I thought you might like a look at the process. But, in the midst of it all, we would always try to break for a quick lunch.  This ruby-hued beauty came out of one of those lunches.

Simple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown SugarSimple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown SugarSimple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown Sugar

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Red Fruit Salad

4.65 from 17 votes

While this is great shortly after tossing all ingredients together, it's also wonderful a day or so after - as the fruit continues to macerate.

  • 1 pound cherries, pitted*
  • 1 pound strawberries, cored
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, or more to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
  • bit of lemon zest, bit of fresh lemon juice
Prepare the Fruit
  1. Tear most of the cherries in half, and leave the remaining cherries whole. Place in a large bowl with strawberries.
Make the Coriander Sugar
  1. Toast the coriander seeds until fragrant in a dry skillet, then crush in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Work the sugar into the coriander one tablespoon at a time. 

Assemble the Fruit Salad
  1. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit along with the lemon zest, and toss gently with your hands. Season with a bit of lemon juice, set aside for at least ten minutes, and enjoy.


*To pit cherries use a cherry pitting tool, or a clean pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
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Tried this recipe yesterday and it was fabulous! I've never used coriander before and was surprised how the spice complemented the fruit. Round 2 will be served today. Thanks for the recipe!


This is so healthy! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Jen

Jenny Lo

I made this for a family event (my grandson's college graduation) and we had eaten the whole bowl full before dinner. I roasted the coriander and used an old fashioned mortar and pestle. I used small glass bowls and had placed it on the table - we started tasting and then -pouf- it was demolished - it was that good.!


The mediterranean island of Cyprus is blooming! Here, plump, dark crimson black cherries are in season, and the mingling of damascus wild rose-petals harvested from my garden, exude the most exquisite aroma in this red fruit salad, rather than coriander,I added gliganiso anise seeds, crushed to impart its aroma. Here, its all about the plethora of wild herbs and spices which infuse our food, and lives with taste.


Beautiful! I have this beckoning me to my kitchen, right now!

Piper Harris

Hi Heidi! Thank you for sharing your recipes with us. I love your site and find it a wonderful inspiration. You're constantly opening my oh so culinary-challenged mind to new foods, flavours, and ideas and I love it! I never would have thought of mixing corriander and fruit but I tried this a couple days ago and it was a delightful treat. Today I was in a mood for a frozen desert and I added the leftover salad and juices with a couple handfuls of frozen berries in a blender...the result was superb!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Sorina. Love that it went into a smoothie!


Definitely going to try making this salad for this upcoming picnic I'm going to! I really love the colour.


my two fav fruits :)

full of taste

Love the ruby hued fruit salad. I will put it away for next summer ( winter now in NZ) I make a green fruit salad in autumn/winter with sliced green kiwifruit, green melon and green/white grapes. Cut it up, toss gently and leave till the juices run and serve @ room temperature


Oh my! This looks simple and amazing! Cherries and Strawberries are a fave of mine.

Jennifer @ Licious Food

love the cherries mixed with herbs. very inspiring for this weekend. so glad I found your site through this post on 101. great idea and beautiful photos. cheers!

tom @ little island kitchen

I've ordered a couple of times from QK. I showed these pics to my 14 yo daughter and we both just found it so cool to see the personal touch we get when we buy from you. Hope the new space isn't TOO big! ;)

HS: Love this comment Susan! Hi to your 14 yo as well. xo


This salad looks beautiful and so healthy. Thinking about bringing it camping this weekend. Do y'all think it will hold up if I make it ahead of time?


    Hi Lindsay - a day or two ahead should be fine!

    Heidi Swanson

Love the idea of combining coriander and strawberries/cherries. Dreaming of the bounty that summer brings...

The Kitchen Edition

That salad looks beautiful! What creative flavor combinations with the cherry, strawberry, and corriander!

Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare

Heidi I always love perusing your beautiful blog. I also love using your cookbook on a weekly basis. You actually inspired me to start my own healthy food blog( Thank you for making the internet so beautiful. Many wishes for continued success.

tracy friedlob

Love hearing about this process!!I also own a small business+love hearing people's process from a thought to reality.Or maybe i just like knowing other people are tortured wih their ideas too:)Either way interesting post.


I have some cherries to pick up on Saturday I can't wait to try this!


It was fun seeing where my little box came from :)

HS: Thanks Shaun! :)


This is simply brilliant.


As per usual, simply stunning! I love the look of the monotonous red coloring- very unique for a fruit salad. You really do know how food works, my friend- you just seem to get it right every time :)


I admire the way you play around with different flavors and textures. Pure genius!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

Love the idea of using cherries in a salad like this, looks delicious!

Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

This looks beautiful and I love the idea of the zest and coriander -- would not have occurred to me to add it to the sweet fruits like that but now I am looking forward to finding some cherries soon (none down here in Mexico yet!).

Shannon @ A Little Adrift

My grandmother taught me to pit cherries using the closed end of a large safety pin. Push that end into the top of a cherry and with a little pull, out comes the pit! I think of my grandmother every time,


This is so beautiful. Do you think you could use coconut sugar instead of the cane sugar or xylitol?

Christine Straley

    Sure! Coconut sugar should work great!

    Heidi Swanson

Mmmmm. Lordy Lord, this looks good. I love little spins like this with fruit. So glad you found a new space for QUITOKEETO! xo

Lia Huber

Made me smile seeing where my recent Quitokeeto package's journey began. And that salad, well let's just say that there is yet another 101 Cookbooks dish destined for our dinner menu in the days to come. I recently received a bamboo steamer and followed your direction on steaming vegetables...absolutely wonderful with the Shallot Oil from the Cilantro Salad. Know that you are keeping a family of five across the Bay, in Belvedere, VERY well-fed! BTW...loving and using my new Pallares Solsona kitchen knife everyday.

Kristin | The Dinner Concierge

wow!!! this red fruit salad looks so vibrant and refreshing. Your recipes are always awe-inspiring Heidi :)

HS: Thanks Himanshu!


Always so inspiring, Heidi!


I always, always look forward to receiving one of your black and white filigreed boxes! Though had wondered how you had the space for this... thanks for the peek!

diary of a tomato

I LOVE this. Although super sweet sensitive fruit, the red color makes this an excellent ROOT CHAKRA delight. Go on and keep getting grateful grounded. I love stalking this site.

Rachael J @ The Grateful Pantry

Beautiful, beautiful salad! Wow...that's quite the project you have going on. :)

Carrie @ Carrie on Vegan

Cherries and strawberries and coriander, oh my! I never would have put that combo together in my mind, but now I'm dying to try it. It seems like the perfect lunch to sustain you when a huge project has overtaken your living space. (As one who runs a seasonal chocolate truffle business out of her small home, I can totally relate!)

Louise @ Kitchen Fiddler

looks simple but decadent. I am looking for recipes for a bridal shower and i think i'm gonna give this one a test drive for it. It looks so much better than the usual watery mess of fruit salads. To be fair they usually have lots of melon in them, and I just have not learned to like melons yet.


As always, gorgeous photos. And not that I'm underestimating you, but wow, I had no idea what a big project it was. Good luck on the new space!


Sounds lovely, although I think I'd omit the lemon juice - the sugar will bring out the fruit's natural juices. and the lemon juice doesn't go so well with the dollop of cream I like on that sort of fruit salad! Cherries are still far too expensive here to even think of buying (and will probably stay that way, alas!) but British strawberries are just coming into season! Black pepper is quite good at bringing out the flavour if they are disappointingly bland.


Good luck with the new space!! This salad looks so lovely :)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Is Jana crazy? Since when are cherries fattening? Oh well, more for the rest of us! They are my absolutely favorite fruit and I've been eating at least a dozen of them a day ever since they hit the markets in San Francisco. Yummmmy! Genius idea to jazz them up and make them extra precious with this delectable recipe. What's your neighborhood Heidi? This looks like The western addition...

HS: Good eye! I'm smack in the Western Addition. :)


Summer fruit definitely speaks for itself. Just had my first quart of fresh strawberries this past weekend. Now I'm anticipating cherries. Super cool to hear about the success of your project!

Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir

My last inspiration for coriander with fruit was coriander with orange marmalade. Strawberry makes an interesting twist too.


Looks delicious! Coriander is an interesting addition.

Simple Sustenance

Great looking salad Heidi! I adore cherries but they are so fattening that I have to avoid them for the most part. I just bought two of your cookbooks, and I must say that I am very excited about trying these recipes. I was disappointed however that a lot of the ones you have on the site here weren't in the books. I love, love, love your soups. So I print those out and I will just stuff them into the book until I can make a binder for them. I am still very happy with the books. Beautiful to look at, drool-worthy on every account. Thank you for keeping them reasonably priced as well. (most of my money goes to organic food!) Thanks again. Some day I hope to be able to get something from your little Seymour store (feed me Seymour!) and love it forever. Fingers and toes crossed for your new place. I live only 3 hours west of you in the foothills of the Sierra. Sonora.....


How delicious! Don't have cherries today, but a basket of strawberries and a lemon in my fridge are screaming for coriander right NOW. Thank you!

Sue from Pleasanton

good luck with finding a new space, i know from experience that it is both exciting and nerve-racking. i absolutely adore quitokeeto. on your first go round i purchased nikole herriot's cake flags. they have been sitting in my living room waiting for this july, until they'll be placed on top of me and my fiance's wedding cake. thank you for having bins of favorite things they're always so interesting and unique!

HS: Love hearing this Lindsey - and, most importantly, huge congrats!


coriander--brilliant! Only you could have a house full of boxes and it looks beautiful.


I hope the space works out for you! I can only imagine how much stuff you must have squirrelled away given the number of boxes you're packing in the photos. As for your salad, it looks beautiful, red is my absolute favourite colour.

Jennifer @ Delicieux

That looks like one hell of a project, but also so much fun! And the salad, mmmm! When I read about the strawberries and saw lemon juice, it reminded me of when I was to visit some of my family in Italy. We were the served the simplest yet most delicious dessert: Chopped strawberries with a lemon and sugar dressing thad added extra zing and that lovely sweetness to it :D The coriander seeds in this sounds interesting! I bet it is lovely though :) I hope you have a nice day! x J @ WolfItDown


Lovely salad Heidi and Bev you are funny!


And I just got my smock! I love it!


Oh Heidi, this fruit salad sounds so, so good. Love the idea of adding coriander to fruit! It will be awhile before any cherries make their way to markets around here, but I will have to try this! Hope your new space works out. Goodness, those are a lot of boxes!


Well, A) I love that bowl. B) I love your hair pulled back and that shirt. C) I sound like a creep so I'm moving on to food. D) That fruit salad is stunning and makes me weepy. E) Look at all those boxes! F) The end. G) I had to say the alphabet out loud to make sure I had the right letters in order.

Bev @ Bev Cooks

I hope your new almost-spot works out for you. Fingers crossed! I can only imagine how much STUFF you have to find a place for. And I love strawberries and cherries. Two fave fruits, for sure.

Averie @ Averie Cooks

All that matters is that you're loving the project! I'm glad y'all will get your own space soon (fingers crossed!), but I hope you're happy with QuitoKeeto! :) Love the addition of coriander here. I can always count on you for new, delicious ways to serve healthy food. I'm so grateful!


What a simply beautiful fruit salad. I love cherries and can't wait until they start coming in to the markets in the UK. The flavour from the coriander seeds sounds amazing. I hope things work out with your space and that you get your home back again soon!


Wow! This looks so beautiful with just a few ingredients. I'm going to have to find some good cherries that are in season!

Diane @ Vintage Zest

I often add coriander to sweet orange recipes, but loving the sound of it with berries and cherries! Yum. *fingers crossed for you too* xx

Emma Galloway

oh, that trolley, piled high with b+w boxes! fantastic. (in the looking. not in the hauling, oh my.) love the coriander angle here. i imagine cardamom would be differently lovely. simple, fresh, good. good luck on the new digs!


What a beautiful salad.. Love the idea of keeping it shades of red.


Gorgeous ruby colors! And the addition of the coriander is just genius! Love your work, Heidi. xoxo

Nourish Your Roots

Haha! Oh my! I certainly am crossing my fingers that the space ends up working out!

Jade Sheldon

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