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Fruit Salad Ideas

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I have been assigned a fruit salad for Easter brunch. I love fruit, and often make an ambrosia with orange slices, coconut, and something red like cherries or pomegranate seeds. I'd like to do something different that isn't just a jumble in a bowl and am coming up empty (though doubtless a visit to the market will give me ideas). Nothing local hereabouts (New England), unfortunately...

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  1. Nigella's Watermelon, Feta and Olive Salad is delicious, even with not-so-great watermelons. Just add a bit of sugar. http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/w...
    I also love this Pineapple and Jicama Salad. Added bonus: it's very pretty. http://www.eatingoutloud.com/2009/04/...
    Another pretty salad: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/0...

    6 Replies
    1. re: MrsJonesey

      Ooh I like the idea of a citrus salad like the one one Smitten Kitchen. So refreshing, and especially perfect if this is a brunch/ lunch meal. Maybe even something like a "deconstructed mimosa" salad with citrus slices and a champagne vinaigrette!

      1. re: EggyEggoo

        also in new england and i would stick with citrus at this point too. pineapple, oranges, even kiwis, are still good and i recently got some very nice blood oranges that looked and tasted great.

        watermelon, berries, etc. are just from too far away and too flavorless.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I think you're right. There were some nice blood oranges at the market last week. Those, sliced with navel oranges and red grapefruit, with some scallions, tiny diced red onion marinated in the citrus juice, and a scattering of feta and slivered basil or mint... all prettily arranged on a big white platter.

          Greens or no greens?

          1. re: sheiladeedee

            no greens. :)

            i'd go with mint instead of basil.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              I think you're right, even though I might have to sneak in a little Thai basil...

              1. re: sheiladeedee

                ooh, i love thai basil! i use it much more often now than the more "standard" sweet variety. doesn't hurt that i can buy armloads of it for $1 at my local s/e asian shops.

    2. I love fruit salads that are just jumbled in a bowl with whipped cream on top if I am needing extra sweetness. BUT, since you mentioned Ambrosia, it made me channel my inner southern bell.

      Waldorf Salad
      Watergate Salad
      5 Cup Salad
      Cherry Coke Salad (It's a *gasp* Jello salad)

      If you would go the jumbled fruit in a bowl route, maybe make an interesting dressing or whipped cream. I've had lemon poppyseed and a ginger yogurt dressing on fruit salad before that were pretty tasty. Awhile ago on Smitten Kitchen, I remember seeing an interesting winter fruit salad with figs and apricots in it. In the past 2 weeks (in PA), we've had great strawberries, kiwis, and pineapples, along with the usual apples, pears, grapes, and citrus. Maybe do grapefruit, kiwi, and clementines? Blood orange, grapes, pears? Something with pineapple if your family does the traditional pineapple brown sugar ham? Hopefully this will help get the ball rolling :)

      1. Oh, I was going to suggest ambrosia with pineapples, banana, coconut, oranges, and of course, cherries. Classic, I love it for holidays. It just cuts the richness of all the other traditional holiday dishes.

        I was looking for my Mom's recipe for ambrosia in her ancient, handwritten cookbook. I came across so many fruit salad recipes. Most of them called for jello, cool whip, or canned fruit cocktail, too. (Southern family)

        Maybe a fruit compote of some sort would satisfy the fruit side dish request? There are so many variations of fruits, herbs, spices. What else is on the hosts menu?

        5 Replies
        1. re: pagesinthesun

          There will be brunchy foods - quiche, potatoes, breads, and of course rice pie and ricotta pie. My brief is to bring freshness and acid to the party, along of course with the pretty.

          I may do a duo or trio, a citrus plate with onion,mint and hot pepper, then a watermelon-feta salad, then a combination of berries and pineapple and whatever else looks good, maybe with a sesame-ginger dressing. I would put them in identical dishes to tie it together...

          1. re: sheiladeedee

            I like the way you're thinking. CH is so inspiring. Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

            1. re: sheiladeedee

              What are rice pie and ricotta pie? Sounds good!

              1. re: EggyEggoo

                These are traditional Rhode Island Italian-American Easter foods. Sweet rice pudding baked in a pie crust, a ricotta cheesecake ditto.

                1. re: sheiladeedee

                  ::drool::

                  I was thinking this was going to be something more like my mom's (I hope she's not listening) awful rice-broccoli-cheese whiz casserole thingie that was a staple at all our holiday meals.

                  Your dishes sound absolutely lovely! Have a happy Easter!

          2. One of my favourite fruit salads is segmented oranges, fresh pomegranate seeds, toasted walnuts, thinly sliced onion marinated in a bit of rice vinegar, and chopped Chinese celery. The ingredients are tossed and then topped with a drizzle of good olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper.

            Also good is Italian orange and radish salad.

            1. A few months ago, I had Grape Salad for the first time at a potluck here in Georgia. It was a mixture of seedless grapes, pecans, brown sugar and sour cream. On top was sprinkled a little brown sugar mixed with pecans.
              I made it this week with three colors of grapes, and walnuts instead of pecans. I think next time I'll make sugared pecans and use those on top for a little crunch. DH and I thought chopped apple would be good in this salad, too.

              1. Don't forget the uses of roasted and re-hydrated dried fruits in these salads.

                1. I have been making a lot of citrus salads, segmented grapefruit, oranges, pomegranite, with honey and fresh basil is a nice combo. Picked up some Ataulfo mangoes and organic strawberries this week at WF, made a great salad with mango, papaya, strawberries, and coconut.

                  1. Blood oranges (which are very nice right now) with a smidgen of red onion, olive oil and capers makes a wonderful salad.

                    1. Filipino fruit salad might be a nice change of pace for you. Diced pears, pineapples, peaches, strawberries, maraschino cherries, coconut and nata de coco, which is a jelly-like sweet made by fermenting coconut milk. I also like to add chewy strands of mutant coconut or palm seed. The dressing is typically made by whipping cream cheese with condensed milk. The white and light colors make the dish quite appropriate for Easter.

                      1. Blueberries, halved green seedless grapes, and peeled kiwi sliced into circles. Add a little sugar or honey. Once the fruit macerates, the juices make the fruit shiny like jewels. Serve in clear glass bowls, or wine or parfait glasses to show how gorgeous it is. Not to mention delish!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: greygarious

                          And here I have a container of kiwis and seedless green grapes but only frozen blueberries. Oh boo. This sounds pretty and good and simple. I like simple.

                        2. I usually make a large bowl of whatever fruit I prefer without green grapes. But then I make up a marinade of honey, lime juice, and dried (or fresh) mint, and pour that over a small bunch of green grapes.

                          Add the grapes to the fruit salad (with the marinade) just before serving. The lime and mint add a nice flavor.

                          1. For Easter, I finally decided on a citrus salad made up of slices of pink grapefruit, Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges, lemons, limes, clementines. Right before I put the fruit platter out I'll add skewers of frozen red grapes and cubed feta cheese that has been drizzled with slightly warm balsamic vinegar.

                            There are so many good ideas here, I had a hard time deciding what direction to go myself.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: HillJ

                              This sounds really good. Will you peel all your citrus, including the lemons and limes? I would have never thought to include them as slices but I really like the idea. And the skewers of frozen red grapes and cubed feta drizzled with slightly warm balsamic vinegar. Oh my!

                              1. re: MrsJonesey

                                Thanks, MrsJ. On the lemons and limes I slice them uber thin with the peel on. The rest I remove the peel and section. Cut the grapefruit segments in half. Bite size all. I use to add pineapple but the fragrance (which we love) overpowers the oranges too much so I switched to frozen grapes instead. Learned that trick from bartenders. The feta with warmed balsamic is at the request of a friend who helps me with most holiday meals and always brings wonderful wine :o)

                                Enjoy your holiday, all!

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Perfect for Easter brunch! Thanks and may you also enjoy your holiday!

                            2. Whatever else you use, if you have a Trader Joe's, use TJ's frozen raw pineapple. It is a bargain ($l.79 for a pound bag) and is very convenient to use, being already cut in bite-size pieces.

                              1. Ina Garten's fruit salad with limoncello is really good. You macerate berries in limoncello and sugar and dress with Greek yogurt, honey and lemon curd. The recipe calls for bananas, but I leave them out.

                                1. --toss fruits with agave, lemon or lime zest, a little grated ginger (and maybe some toasted coconut)

                                  --variety of fruits -- banana, apple, pear, melons (we've got em here... not sure about new england), kiwis, etc and a little diced avocado -- plus lime and pineapple juice

                                  --do a grilled fruit salad with basil and maybe some bits of fresh mozzarella

                                  --melon, cracked salt and pepper, shaved parmesan

                                  1. How about "fruit pizza" -- essentially just fruit
                                    either OCD-ly arranged
                                    or tossed randomly
                                    over a lightly sweet dough covered first in a thin layer of cream cheese.
                                    Google Images will show you some great varieties in the OCD category, but I tend to try to make mine actually look more like a pizza than most of the display pics.