More often than not, fruit salads become sort of fruit “fluff” with the addition of sweetened whipped cream. But in summer when so many of our favorite fruits are at their peak of flavor, naked it the way to go (regarding the fruit, that is). So to show off the bright colors of summer, we usually toss together a variety of seasonal melons and pineapple or bananas and berries and call it good. But this Fruit Salad Medley has a zesty yet super-light honey and citrus dressing tossed with a surprising twist… a hint of jalapeno peppers. Yes, you read right… the addition of jalapeno peppers is delightfully different yet so just right.
The fruit base can be changed up a bit depending on your desires; use any variety of melon in combination. Green grapes, red grapes, or a combination of both also brings textural variety and color to the salad. Kiwi is a good option or how about strawberries? All this sounds pretty standard (but tasty) summer salad… but when you toss in the dressing of orange and lime juices, honey and jalapeno pepper, this is anything but ordinary. The jalapeno is a must and won’t add heat but instead adds a floral dash of flavor that’ll make the flavors unique and bright. The medley needs about an hour in the fridge before serving because the dressing is almost like a marinade – it’s so light, you can’t see it in my pictures. If you want, pour more of the dressing into the salad to retain some of the juice at serving.
Another option for presentation is to cut the melons into balls with a melon baller, but this takes longer and the contrast of chunky melon pieces with the round grapes is a nice presentation. Give this a go, you won’t be sorry… you won’t… really.
- 3 cups cantaloupe, cut into bite-size chunks (about ½ a regular cantaloupe)
- 3 cups watermelon, cut into bite-size chunks (about 1 baby seedless watermelon)
- 2 cups green or red grapes, or combination
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Juice from one lime
- ½ chopped jalapeno pepper, with or without seeds, more or less to taste
- Grated lime peel from one lime (grate the skin from the lime you will juice before juicing)
- 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- In a resealable plastic bag, combine the cantaloupe, watermelon and grapes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice, honey and lime juice. Stir in the jalapeno and lime peel.
- Pour over the fruit. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, and turn to coat.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Just before serving, add the peeled and sliced kiwi to the salad, tossing with the dressing to coat.
- Serve with a slotted spoon.
- Optionally, you could cut the melon into balls with a melon baller, but this takes longer and the contrast of the chunky melon pieces with the round grapes makes a nice presentation.