We're ramping up to peak summer fruit season, aka fruit salad season. I stocked up at the weekend market, and had a bonus windfall thanks to this thoughtful lady. It is fruit madness in the refrigerator. I'm looking at tiny black raspberries, the sweetest blueberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, and pluots. No complaints.
Summer Fruit Salad: Inspiration
Those of you who have been reading for a while know I love a quick fruit salad, particularly if it has a little wink, or twist, or surprise. One of my past favorites is red fruit salad made with plump strawberries, sweet cherries, lemon zest, and coriander brown sugar. Today I decided to throw together a new version using lemongrass, lemon and lime juices, and plenty of mint. Toasted walnuts added a bit of crunch. Give it a try, the honey-lemongrass dressing with mint works not only with summer fruits, but with other fruit combinations as well. If you like the dressing you can use it year-round.
What If I Don’t Have Lemongrass?
Lemongrass can be a bit tricky to come by, but no worries! You can do an alternate version using grated ginger (start with two teaspoons) and/or the zest of a lemon or orange.
Buying Summer Fruit
The key to an exceptional summer fruit salad is sourcing the best tasting in-season fruit. This, of course, can be trickier than it sounds. Some of the best tasting peaches, cherries or plum might not be the prettiest. Ugly fruit, if you will. Sampling is how you figure things out. And that is why I like buying summer fruit at farmers’ markets. The farmers often have samples out, and you can gauge which fruits are at their peak. It’s a great way to try before you buy. Seek out the sweetest most flavorful fruit and adapt the fruit salad to that.
If you live in a more tropical environment, I imagine a pineapple and mango version would be incredible. And as I mentioned up above, an alternated to lemongrass would be a grated ginger version - use 2 teaspoons of grated ginger in place of the lemongrass in the dressing. The zest of a lemon would be an added bonus. Enjoy! -h
More Summer Fruit Ideas
Fruit Salad with Thai Herbs
HS: I used a medley of nectarines, pluots, cherries, blackberries, loganberries, and peaches. Use whatever ripe and delicious fruit you have on hand.
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon and/or lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- a pinch of salt
- the tender interior of a stalk of lemongrass, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 - 6 cups of seasonal fruit, sliced
- 20 mint leaves, chiffonade
- to serve: any or all of the following, toasted coconut, dollops of creme fraiche or yogurt, toasted walnuts
Whisk together the citrus juice, honey, salt, lemongrass, and vanilla. Set aside.
Arrange the fruit in a large bowl or on a platter, and drizzle with about half of the dressing. Taste, and decide if you'd like to add more dressing. Then add the coconut, nuts, and creme fraiche, and serve.