Oftentimes it's the simplest of foods that bring compliments from people every time they're served. Case in point: fruit salad. With the abundance of fruit ready to harvest and that yet to come, a salad composed of the freshest fruits of summer is what we've longed for during the dreary rainy weather we experienced last winter and spring. Double that with the coronavirus epidemic, and we're ready for a healthy dose of flavor.

Fruit salad is the ideal accompaniment to any of the foods you might have on the grill this July 4, whether it be burgers, steaks, chicken, pork or fish. There's must something about the clean, fresh taste of berries, melons and stone fruits that makes the taste of smoked meats sparkle.

"When I think of fruit salad, I think of my mother," says Jessica Randhawa, founder of the food blog The Forked Spoon. "During childhood summer weekends, my mother would make a special dinner just for my sister, brother and me. We would all pick our favorite fruits and help with the washing, chopping and mixing. The salad was always too large for four people, so we always knew there would be fresh fruit for breakfast in the morning."

And there's something about waking up to a bowl of freshness after a good night's sleep that seems like magic in your mouth.

"A fresh, juicy, seasonal fruit salad is the perfect way to curb a sugar craving without anything extra. No syrups or goopy dressings are needed, and it sits so nicely on your tastebuds to give you a refreshing flavor and interesting textures."

The beauty of this salad lies in its simplicity as the only "dressing" in it is juice — no oil or other fattening ingredients. Just fresh fruit.


Fruit Salad

1 large orange, juiced

1 lemon, juiced

2 cups seedless red grapes

1 pineapple, cored and chopped into chunks

4 mango peeled, cored and cubed

6 ounces blueberries

2 pounds strawberries, halved

6 cups watermelon, cubed

12 ounces blackberries

5 kiwi, peeled and quartered

6 ounces raspberries (see note)

Prepare the orange juice "dressing" by mixing together the fresh orange juice and lemon juice in a small bowl; set aside.

Prepare and chop fruit, taking care not to chop fruit into pieces that are too large or too small. If they are too small, they'll turn mushy faster and leftovers, if there are any, will not taste as fresh.

Mix the fruits in a large mixing bowl, starting with the more "sturdy" fruits first (grapes, pineapple, mango, blueberries and strawberries). Drizzle with half the orange juice mixture, and gently toss to combine. Next, add the remaining fruit except for the raspberries (see note). Drizzle with remaining orange juice mixture, and gently toss to combine.

Add the raspberries to the bowl, and serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Note: Raspberries and other overly ripe fruit do not hold up well when tossed around a lot. Add these fruits at the very end or simply place them right on top of the bowl.

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Anne Braly