Melon AmbrosiaThe 4th of July for my family meant a good ole Louisiana-style picnic with fireworks and a whole lot of family with thick southern accents. Although the fireworks kept me spellbound, it was the food that created the lasting memories. Our picnic was nothing short of spectacular, filled with southern-style fried chicken, corn on the cob, leafy green salad with fresh tomatoes, potato salad, fresh green beans, pie and a gorgeous fresh fruit salad, similar to this Melon Ambrosia.
A version of fruit salad has been around for ages. Depending upon availability, country and climate, our ancestors combined seasonal fresh fruits, dried fruits, stewed fruits, sugared and candied fruits for meals and holidays. Today, we continue to do the same with variations of fruits and other ingredients that are now available worldwide.
A good fruit salad can be simple with just a few fruits tossed together or elaborate with exotic fruits, sauces, nuts, chocolate, cheese and more. In fact, some of the tastiest fruit salads include vegetables too, like in this Spinach and Strawberry Salad.
Fruit salad can be enjoyed for breakfast, snack or dessert, or as a light meal or side dish to grilled or roasted meat. It’s especially satisfying during summer as hot weather demands cooling foods. Here are some tips and recipes:
Bring this Watermelon and Strawberry Salad with Chile Vinaigrette or this Minty Melon Salad to your next potluck.
Celebrate Independence Day whenever you feel like it with this Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad.
Make an old fashioned fruit gelatin mold — use seasonal fruits with added goodies like coconut, chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruits, etc. I love this Minty Blueberry Peach Shiver.
Toss your favorite fruit on the grill for a perfectly summery dessert like this Grilled Fruit with Caramelized Orange Sauce.
Serve fruit salad with yogurt, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese for breakfast, lunch or a light summery dinner.
Dress your fruit salad with dark chocolate sauce, sweetened vinegar, a favorite jam or a purée of berries or other fruit. Try these recipes:
This Fresh Fruit Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing is flavored with raspberry juice and vanilla yogurt.
These Balsamic Berries are tangy and sweet.
This Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing has a touch of ginger and cinnamon.
Our Stone Fruit Salad with Cherry Almond Dressing is wonderful with maple syrup, vanilla extract and roasted almond butter.
Spoon fruit salad over toast spread with peanut butter, almond butter or tahini.
Spread a bagel with cream cheese. Top with fruit salad.
Take fruit salad to the pool to help you keep your cool when you’re not in the water.
Go tropical by adding goji berries, macadamia nuts, coconut butter, cocoa nibs and assorted dried tropical fruits and berries.
My favorite is a combination of peaches or nectarines, wild blueberries, bananas and mangoes. I love it on pancakes, waffles and French toast, or with toast and almond butter.
Tip: If time is of the essence, look for pre-cut fresh fruit in the produce department.
Do you have a special fruit salad you love? Let me know what’s in it.