Fall Fruit Salad with Maple, Lime and Mint

At a recent breakfast meeting I hosted, I was asked how I had made the fruit salad I served.  There were flavors guests just couldn’t put their fingers on but raved about. Recipes for my fuit salads are often requested and the truth is I just create them as I go.  I can, however, share my method.  I always strive for something unexpected and not the “same old same old” fruit salad that turns up on most buffet tables.  I  think it is important to select fruit that is seasonal when possible and think of the colors and textures of the fruit in the salad.    Avoid the usual strawberries when they are pale, cardboard like and tasteless. The plethora of  fruit combinations is endless.  This salad showcased ripe Bosc pears, papaya, seedless Concord grapes, clementines, mango, kiwi, raspberries, pomegranate seeds and mint from my garden.  By describing how I made it, you can adapt my secrets to your own creation.

I chose a pretty bowl, a wide turquoise earthenware beauty,  unexpected, with a rustic feel for a fall buffet table.  The blue was a nice complement to the fruit colors and the wide mouth showcased a lot of the beautiful fruit.  It also prevented the fruit from being bruised by being layered  too deeply.

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I built the salad in layers, directly in the serving bowl, with sturdier fruit on the bottom.   I planned for at least one layer of each fruit.  For this salad I started with a layer of cubed mango, about 2 cups.  The mango was frozen and thawed,  as the fresh mango was not ripe.  Two thirds of a whole papaya, cubed, was added next.  Then came 5 clementine oranges divided in segments.  Concord grapes, a fall favorite,  were scattered over the oranges and provided deep blue color and lots of seasonal flavor.  Two kiwis,  cut in bite size pieces were placed over the oranges.  At this point I stored the salad overnight as all this fruit would hold up well and I didn’t want to have to make the whole salad first thing in the morning. Aren’t those colors just gorgeous?

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In  the morning, I grated the zest of 1 lime over the chilled fruit salad for a nice burst of flavor.    2 Bosc pears, ripe but firm, in seasonal peak,  were cut  in 1/2 inch chunks, peel on, and scattered  over the lime zest.  I then squeezed the juice of half a navel orange over the pears, right in the bowl, to keep them from browning.   Orange juice is less acidic than lemon juice. Over the pears I also drizzled about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.  You could use a liqueur, agave or honey.   I gave the salad a very gentle toss at this point, the only tossing it would get. For the final layer, I scattered a 6 oz package of raspberries, the seeds of half a pomegranate  and 2 tablespoons of  fresh mint leaves, chiffonade cut, as a topping.   Tossing the berries would crush them.  With the berries and pomegranate on top, this salad shined with the jewel colors of sapphire, emerald and rubies.  Gorgeous!  You could layer individual servings of fruit salad  in a pretty glass tumbler for a variation.

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There you have it, my fruit salad secrets.  Delicious, colorful, with complex layers of  seasonal flavor, lots of texture and nary a bland strawberry in site!

 

16 thoughts on “Fall Fruit Salad with Maple, Lime and Mint

  1. Just look at all that color!!! It is said that we eat with our eyes first, and looking at this…I believe it! What a gorgeous sight!!!

    I think it’s neat that you kind of make it up as you go along. Ramon always says that cooking is nothing more than chemistry, and the kitchen is our laboratory. When you experiment and come up with winners, you know you’re a great chemist!

  2. Dear Johanne- I trust everyone is doing well and in the very best of health. IT HAS been awhileeeeeeeeee. Opening your e-mail and checking out the delicious dish you’ve prepared, reminded me of what a lovely time we had at your home. certainly something we could never forget. James and I speak often of your wonderful hospitality. he sends his best, we are still trying to weather the storm, but I know with Gods’ GRACE we will pull through. When I have the opportunity to check my e-mail, I always love reading your blogs. thanks for sharing! Happy Wednesday and may God blessed you and your family always!!! All my best,Bernadette

    Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2014 12:30:39 +0000 To: bernadettesweeting@hotmail.com

    • Hi Bernadette! We have fond memories of having you and James staying with us. We hope you are all doing well. Hope you get through hurricane season unscathed. We are in Florida at present visiting my niece and her family who has recently accepted a teaching position at The University of Tampa. We hope you will stop and visit us again. Best wishes, Johanne

      Sent from my iPad

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    • Thank you Linda! The lamb is one of those dishes that looks impressive, will smell divine, but is really easy to execute. If you enjoy lamb, I hope you’ll give it a try! Thanks for visiiting!

      Sent from my iPad

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