On a fruit obsession scale of one to ten, I'm about a twenty, give or take a few points. Until about 10 years ago, "salad" in the traditional greens sense was not something I put in my meal rotation. However, given my passion for all things fruta, I have always been a connoisseur of the tried and true fruit salad. When I lived in Madrid, I think I startled my Señora with the sheer volume of "Macedonia de Fruta" I could consume. It's a gift.
So when my sister-in-law asked me to bring either fruit salad or veggie crudité for my niece's birthday party recently, it took me about .5 seconds to call dibs on the sweet stuff.
The beauty of fruit salad is that literally anything goes. As long as you're picking seasonal ripe fruit, you'll be in good shape once they are all mixed together. While I love bananas and apples, they aren't fruits that sit well for long periods of time - both can get a little brown, bananas too mushy, you get the picture.
I also have a general no melon rule. Don't get me wrong, melon can be GREAT, but most of the time they are just so so. Your guests will pick around them and leave the remaining cubes of honeydew and cantaloupe for the unlucky last person in line. So give the people what they want! A fruit salad where every scoop is a treat.
A few key ingredients for success:
- First, citrus. The acids help keep the fruit fresh and adds tons of flavor - in this case I chose to include entire orange segments in the salad. If you'd rather just squeeze some lemon or lime in there, that works too.
- Second, honey or granulated sugar. If you choose fruit that is ripe, you won't need much added sweetness, but it does help accelerate the maceration process.
- Lastly, fresh mint! Some chopped fresh mint really adds a freshness to the fruit salad and quite frankly makes it feel a little bit more adult. Not only is it a delicious addition, but adding some green in there makes for a pretty color contrast.
In this particular version, the star ingredient was the ripe mango which was a tad on the soft side to start. After macerating for a few hours, it almost melted into the rest of the salad. Always, I mean ALWAYS, make a bit too much. When you take the leftovers home, let it sit for another 24 hours in the fridge, you won't be disappointed. Deliciousness on a whole new level!
As picnic and BBQ party season comes upon us, use this fancy fruit salad to impress your friends and family. So simple, so delicious! An oldie but goodie.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey
- 2 mangos
- 3 oranges
- 1lb red seedless grapes
- 1lb strawberries
- 6oz raspberries
- 6oz blackberries
- 6oz blueberries
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup mint, chopped
Peel and dice the mango, and put in a medium bowl. Trim the strawberries' stems and half or quarter, if large. Add to the bowl of fruit.
Cut off the top and bottom of the oranges just deep enough to expose the fruit. Peel off the skin, and cut the orange horizontally into discs, then into 4-6 pieces depending on the size. That is my short cut option (works just fine!). If you want to go pro, cut off the orange peels and remove all the pith with your knife. Slice the orange segments out from between the membranes and add to the bowl.
Lightly stir the honey into the fruit. Tear or chop the mint leaves into smaller pieces, and stir into the fruit salad. Wash your grapes, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries and put them into the bowl whole. Eat right away, or refrigerate for a few hours then serve.