Summer in a Bowl

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Now that hot weather is upon us, all signs point to fruit salad. Many fruits are at their peak in July and August, so eating as much of your favorites as possible should be high on your summer to-do list.

Colorful, sweet, and refreshing, fruit salad will help you win all the summer parties, from potlucks to picnics to barbecues. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get a side dish on the table without turning on your stove and heating up an already hot kitchen.

Fruit salads are easy to make, but there are some ground rules:

  1. Always choose ripe, good-quality fruit. Yes, you’re adding other ingredients, but even the most flavorful syrup can’t rescue underripe fruit.
  2. Fruit salads need a little time in the refrigerator for the flavors to marry, but don’t make them too far in advance, as fruit can break down and get watery. Aim for an hour or two before it’s time to eat.
  3. The amounts of added sugar given are flexible, based on your taste. If you reduce the sugar in a recipe, reduce the water or other liquid by the same amount. Feel free to go sugar-free if you like.

Here are four fresh fruit salads to get you started.

All recipes by Miriam Wolf

Red, White, and Blue Salad
Fourth of July in a bowl

INGREDIENTS
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
1-inch slice of ginger, peeled (or more, to taste)
2 pints strawberries, washed and halved
1 pint blueberries, washed
2 pounds white peaches, sliced (about 4 cups)

PREPARATION

  • Heat lemon juice, water, sugar, and ginger until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. When cool, remove ginger.
  • Layer fruit in a glass bowl or arrange on a platter. Pour cooled lemon-ginger syrup over the mixture.
  • Chill until serving.

Serves 8. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 5 minutes.

 

Honeydew, Mango, and Cucumber Salad
Sweet and spicy can play nicely together.

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup water
Juice of 1 lime
⅓ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 medium honeydew melon, cut into 1-inch chunks or prepared with a melon baller
2 mangoes, diced into ½-inch chunks
2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and cut into ½-inch half-moons
½ jalapeno, minced (less or more to taste)

PREPARATION

  • Heat water, lime juice, sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved. Stir in lime zest and let cool.
  • Mix fruit and jalapeno in a bowl. Pour cooled syrup over the mixture.
  • Chill until serving time.

Serves 8. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 5 minutes.

 

Apricot, Plum, and Mascarpone Salad
Mascarpone and almonds add richness to this dessert salad.

INGREDIENTS
½ cup slivered almonds
Pinch of salt
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
⅓ cup brown sugar
10 medium apricots, pitted and quartered
8 medium plums, pitted and quartered
1 tablespoon lemon juice

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds in one layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes, or until they reach the desired degree of doneness, stirring halfway through. This goes quickly, so don’t get distracted with other tasks. Remove almonds from oven and salt lightly.
  • Stir together mascarpone, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and brown sugar. This will be a thick mixture.
  • Toss plums and apricots with 1 tablespoon lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange fruit on a flat platter and tuck dollops of the mascarpone mixture around the fruit. Keep chilled. Just before serving, sprinkle toasted almonds over fruit.

Serves 8. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 12 minutes.

 

Watermelon and Feta Salad
A summer favorite!

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
6 cups watermelon chunks
½ red onion, very thinly sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled
10–12 mint leaves, roughly torn

PREPARATION

  • Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Mix watermelon chunks and red onion in a large, shallow bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle feta and mint leaves over the top.

Serves 10. Prep time, 20 minutes.

Miriam Wolf is the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine newsletter.
 

 

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