How do you improve on the deliciousness of a ripe summer peach, a thirst-quenching slice of watermelon and the freshness of a crunchy Braeburn? Pop them in a vibrantly refreshing fruit salad for a flavour and texture explosion that’s both healthy and heavenly. Here are eight tips for making a flawless fruit salad:
Wash your fruits well, especially the ones you won’t be peeling, with plenty of cold fresh water to remove residues on the surface of their skin and instantly revive them. Soft fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are better washed just before you plan on eating them to prevent them absorbing excess water. Hull your strawberries, remove the stones from peaches and nectarines, pit your cherries and segment your oranges before you assemble.
To peel or not to peel?
You can peel all your fruits if desired but leaving the skin on apples, pears and nectarines will add a touch more colour, texture and fibre to your salad. Leaving the skin on also helps fruit to retain its shape, especially if you plan on making your fruit salad well in advance.
Go for interesting textures over uniform chunks
Create an interesting texture by cutting your fruit into different sized slices and chunks. Slicing nectarines into thin crescents, watermelon into triangular wedges and balling fresh melon will give each element of your salad a distinctive character and texture. Dicing everything up in the same size can work too if you’re after a fruit salsa to serve alongside a meal.
Toss frozen grapes into your fruit salad just before serving for a deliciously cooling treat. Better yet, do as the Tiktokers do and coat them in jelly crystals before freezing to turn them into sour candies (you can create the same effect by mixing grapes with lime juice and rolling them in sugar before laying out on a tray and popping in the deep freeze).
Spritz on the citrus
An acid, such as lemon juice, will prevent fruits like apples, bananas, pears and peaches from browning when cut and exposed to the air. The juice of an orange, a lime or even a splash of lemonade will do the same job.
Fire up your flavourings
Cooling herbs, like mint, or the zest of an orange work beautifully with summer fruit salads because they lend them a refreshing aroma and flavour. Chilli powder, chaat masala, chamoy seasoning and black salt also make for great additions to Mexican and Asian inspired fruit salads that simultaneously taste spicy, salty and sour. Crushed nuts, poppy seeds and sesame seeds add crunch and texture too.
Syrups and dressings
Make a syrup with vanilla or cardamom to mix into your salad to flavour it further and prevent any fruits from oxidising and turning brown. For an easier dressing simply use the syrup from a tin of peaches or guavas, a squeeze of honey or a drizzle of maple syrup. A dash of balsamic vinegar is delicious on stone fruit and strawberry-based salads, honey and lime is a great pairing to drizzle over berries and a blend of vanilla and Greek yoghurt can turn a fruit salad into a creamy pud.
Step it up
Transform your fruit salad from a light snack into a starter by serving it with a creamy burrata, or mix some halloumi into a watermelon salad for a refreshing, cooling and salty entrée to a summer barbecue. Blackberries pair beautifully with goat’s cheese and peaches are delicious with blue cheese and walnuts.