A bowl full of sparkling jewels.
This ruby red fruit salad expresses the bounty of summer with the rich palette of colours and tones only nature can provide. Just look at those wonderful shades of red and crimson and scarlet and burgundy (I love listing all the ‘red’ words.)
I’m sure you all make fruit salads many different ways, and many of you probably make them like I usually do – as a means of using up any unused fruits sadly lurking in the fruit bowl and crisper drawer. They make rainbow coloured fruit mixtures that are all delicious and refreshing. Anything goes when making fruit salads – there really are no bad combinations. Just peel, pit and dice the fruit into a bowl. Quick, easy – no thought required.
But sometimes, I want to make a fruit salad that I have deliberately planned, one with a purpose, and one that looks especially beautiful. Sometimes I want to feel like Monet or Cezanne or Van Gogh, and I want to play with nature’s brilliant colours. Sometimes I want to feed my soul. After all, we do feast first with our eyes.
This single-hued ruby salad is as stunning as a beautiful piece of art – but much better tasting!
It’s a still-life in a bowl.
To see some other jeweled fruit salad suggestions, take a peek after the recipe below.
* * * * *
August 16 Update: I am so THRILLED! This recipe won first place in the South West Edmonton Farmers Market recipe contest! This is a wonderful farmers market and you can check out their site and the recipe here.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Red fruits seem to have such a lovely, intense flavour. I like to use about 2 cups watermelon cubes in this salad, and 4 cups other red fruits. I find that the watermelon lightens up the intensity (but I have made it without, and it is great, too). If using red currants, use no more than ½ cup in total, because they are especially intense-flavoured (but delicious).
The best effect is when you use at least 3 fruits of the same colour hue for these salads, but the more fruits you can add, the prettier – and it’s all about the visual effect here.
Rosewater adds a beautiful floral essence to the fruit salad, but if you don’t have it you can omit it. I have made it without and it is still a delicious fruit salad. The flavour of the rosewater is stronger when you first make the salad, but almost disappears the second day (if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers). However, don’t overdo the rosewater, as too much can be way too flowery. A word of caution – don’t pour the rosewater into the measuring spoon over the fruit bowl – that way if you get some over-spill it won’t go onto the fruit.
This fruit salad is lovely with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream. You can spoon it over ice cream, angel food cake, pound cake, pudding or pancakes. And it is amazing spooned over a bowlful of greek yogurt for breakfast.
Ruby Fruit Salad with a Pomegranate Glaze
- 6 cups (1.5litres) assorted red fruits – watermelon cubes or balls, quartered strawberries, halved and pitted sweet cherries, diced red-fleshed plums, raspberries, red currants, pomegranate arils, red grapes
- 1 cup (240ml) pure unsweetened pomegranate juice, fresh or bottled
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon rosewater
- yogurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream to serve – optional
Pour the pomegranate juice into a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and continue to cook at a gentle boil, uncovered, until the juice is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. This will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending how high the heat is and how big the surface area of the liquid is. Watch it closely as it gets near the end to make sure it doesn’t start to turn brownish and caramelize. The juice will get quite syurpy as it gets close to the 2 tablespoon mark. You can eyeball the amount or pour it into a measuring cup and estimate about half of the quarter cup mark which is 2 tablespoons (a little bit more is fine).
While the pomegranate juice is reducing, prepare red fruits by dicing them into uniform bite-sized pieces. Place them in a bowl – keep the raspberries aside to stir in at the last minute, since they are so delicate and can get mushed if you mix them in too early.
When the juice has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, honey and rosewater.
Pour the glaze over the fruit, scraping any last bits out of the sauce pan with a rubber spatula. Toss the fruit and glaze with the spatula to coat everything. Then add the raspberries if using, and toss one more time, very gently to mix them in.
Makes about 6 cups (1.5l)
Try these other versions of elegant single-hued fruit salads:
Deep Purple Fruit Salad with an Amethyst Glaze
-Use purple-toned fruits – blackberries, blueberries, purple or red-fleshed plums (diced), purple or black grapes (deseeded), dark cherries (halved and pitted), saskatoons.
-Use bottled purple grape juice to make the glaze.
* * *
Golden Sunrise Fruit Salad
-Use yellow, peach, and orange-hued fruits – diced peaches, nectarines, apricots, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, papaya, yellow plums, starfruit, rainier cherries (halved and pitted), orange sections, grapefruit sections, yellow raspberries (add last), canned mandarin orange sections (add last)
-Use bottled white grape or white cranberry juice to make the glaze. Substitute orange flower/orange blossom water for the rosewater.
* * *
Gentle Emerald Fruit Salad
-Use green-hued fruits – honeydew melon, diced green apples, kiwi fruits, green grapes.
-Use bottled white grape juice or white cranberry juice to make the glaze. Omit the rosewater.
* * *
You might also like: