We’ve all been there. After slaving away over a sticky cutting board, cutting pear after strawberry after apple, the fruit salad of our dreams is left with the dregs of cantaloupe and honeydew stranded in the bowl, never to grace a plate. Each fruit was squeezed and sized up in the grocery store, sure, but the typical fruit salad is rather uniform and expected. We know what it’s going to taste like before we even load up our plates.
At the same time, the proverbial fruit salad is a mainstay at summer barbecues. In between bites of burger, chips and potato salad, guests are yearning for something more refreshing, something that will lift them up after such a heavy meal.
When making a summery, naturally sweet fruit salad, it’s important to realize that an addition of something that’s not, well, fruit can make all the difference, bringing some thought into a simple dish. Fruit salad is an incredibly versatile culinary concoction, and adding a sprig of mint, a shot of honey or any other uplifting ingredient can bring the standard fruit salad from half-eaten to devoured, healthful bliss. And when your guests opt for the fruit over the triple-chocolate-chunk-deluxe brownies , it won’t necessarily be because it’s the healthier option. It’ll be because it’s the most delicious, most refreshing option. Even if you’re not throwing a party anytime soon, a homemade in-season fruit salad is perfect in a lunchbox, in the fridge or on the side at dinner.
This summer, be sure to take advantage of use in-season fruits like watermelon, peaches, blueberries and strawberries. Start out with this Watermelon Salad from Food Network Magazine (above) and incorporate lemon and mint into your next fruity mix. Then, move on to other concoctions by adding in ingredients like honey, coconut and even wine.
Stand-Out Fruit Salads with a Twist:
Mixed Berries With Limoncello
Fresh Fruit Salad With Honey Vanilla Yogurt
Pineapple-Citrus Salad With Coconut
Fresh Fruit and Mint Salad
Radiance Fruit Salad
Summer Fruit With Wine and Mint