There is something wonderful about the abundance of delicious fruits in season at this time of year. When ripe, juicy and fragrant, you need nothing more than a napkin to enjoy summer fruits at their best.
That said, a fruit salad is a pretty perfect way to end a meal. An elegant bowlful of fruit is simple to prepare, looks sensational and makes a light, refreshing and nutritious pudding.
These fruit salads are hardly recipes – more of a pairing of ingredients. Together, they are almost greater than the sum of their parts, and work with a wide variety of cuisines.
When making a fruit salad at home, I don’t use sugar on the fruit. This is simply for health reasons, and I happen to enjoy the flavour of the fruit on its own. But, a fruit salad is a wonderful option when cooking for friends and family. In this case, I’d make a sugar syrup, cool it and pour it over the fruit and allow it to macerate for an hour or two before serving. This creates plenty of perfumed juice, which is even better enjoyed with some homemade vanilla ice cream, and also keeps the fruit for a little longer when cut. Just be sure to use the most perfectly ripe fruit you can find – it’s not worth making this with flavourless fruit.
Strawberry, lemon and mint
Hull and halve 400g of strawberries. Mix with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and the zest of half a lemon, (I use Amalfi lemons) a tablespoon of caster sugar, if desired, or 75ml sugar syrup. Add 3 tbsp chopped mint and stir.
White nectarine, blueberry and mint
Quarter and de-stone three white nectarines. Mix with a tablespoon of caster sugar, if desired, or 75ml sugar syrup. Add 100g blueberries and 3 tbsp chopped mint and stir.
Nectarine, strawberry and sweet geranium
Quarter and de-stone three white nectarines. Mix with a tablespoon of caster sugar, if desired, or 75ml sugar syrup. Add 200g hulled and quartered strawberries and 6 small sweet geranium leaves and stir.
Pineapple blueberry and mint
Cut a large pineapple into 1” chunks, ensuring you cut out the woody core first. Mix with a tablespoon of caster sugar, if desired, or 75ml sugar syrup. Add 100g blueberries and 3 tbsp chopped mint and stir.