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

4.6 from 15 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
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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.


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