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Apr 1, 2007 07:24 PM

Enhancing Fruit Salad

We're entering the spring potluck season, and I like to make fruit salad if we're going to an outing at which any fresh produce is likely to be dressed with mayonaise or velveeta.

I usually just chop whatever fruit appeals to me into a bowl and stir. Does anyone have suggestions for additions?

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  1. I like poppy seeds sometimes or toasted nuts. I like to use vanilla yogurt. I also use various liquors sometimes - anything sweet or fruity. depending on the fruit a little good quality . Balsamic can really draw out the flavors - particularly with melons and berries

      1. For grown-ups only: liqueur, usually something citrusy or vanilla-flavoured.

        For everyone: chopped crystallized ginger, or fresh herbs (mint, basil, lemon balm, etc.), or pomegranate seeds/syrup, or toasted coconut, or chopped marrons glac├ęs (if you want to be totally decadent).

        1 Reply
        1. re: piccola

          Don't let only the non-drinkers enjoy the flavor of the the tropics -- good quality vanilla, either let a bean pod soak with the juice or a tsp of extract.

          Same idea with almond extract -- sure there is a bit of alcohol, but the flavor is so much more concentrated that a tsp will flavor a huge bowl of salad with far less residual alcohol than liqueur.

        2. Just a bare touch of finely ground chili powder. Don't tell anyone. magic.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            As in cayenne (as opposed to the premixed Mexene-types)?

            Sounds interesting. . .

            1. re: mamaciita

              Any chili powder that is finely ground rather than in flakes. Don't want to freak people out. My last fruit salad had a touch of chili powder purchased in the old market in Mexico City, ground nutmeg, and a bit of lime juice. What is a pre-mixed Mexene chili powder?

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Usually it is pure ground chile like ancho, instead of a mix that includes things like cumin and oregano.

                Cayenne would probably be good too. I love doing a jicama salad, with orange segments, lime juice, ancho powder, and cilantro. My kids eat it up like crazy.

                1. re: Becca Porter

                  I've been craving jicama salad--I'm going to try yours!!

                  1. re: mamaciita

                    You won't regret it. It is so crunchy and refreshing. I love it...

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      not to sounds like an uber-dork, but how does one slice the jicama?

                      1. re: lollya

                        After I use a knife to slice off the outside, I cut them into 1/2 inch matchsticks. I really like them cut into sticks.

                  2. re: Becca Porter

                    YUM!!! I made your jicama salad to go with enchiladas for dinner last Saturday, and had the leftovers for breakfast on Sunday. I may have to do the same this weekend.

                  3. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Mexene is a name brand of "chili soup" chili powder, with ground chiles, added spices, and salt. I use it in soups, marinades, and dips--it isn't particularly spicy.

                  4. re: mamaciita

                    Cayenne is too strong. Go for a milder Indian chili powder. Or a Mexican one.
                    I adore pineapple chunks on a skewer that have a squeeze of fresh lime, and then
                    are sprinkled with high quality sea salt and the barest touch of chili powder.
                    (By the way, this was served at a Chez Panisse street fair.)

                    A great way to use broken biscotti: Take a clear plastic cup and put some broken
                    biscotti crumbs in the bottom, then spoon the cut-up fruit on top. Add a drizzle of
                    balsamic syrup and a dollop of creme fraiche and/or whipped cream (good quality
                    canned works) to really gussy it up.

                  5. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    On a similar vein, I like lime juice and a really finely chopped jalapeno.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Yes! I love to use ground chipotle pepper with fruit and fruity salads, such as a coleslaw thing I make, using mandarin oranges, pineapple and chopped mix-colored bell peppers, etc.

                    2. If you can afford a passionfruit or two, add the pulp, juice and seeds.