fruit salad with honey-lemon dressing

I have  a tendency to resort to “old favorites,” for holiday meals or picnics.   So I generally whip together this easy, delicious little number for summer festivities.  I have…for years.  I know, I know, how culinarily unchallenged can I be?  Mostly, I suppose, I’m a creature of habit, I know what people my kid  will eat and enjoy, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Yup!   But I was surfing around on Pinterest just before the 4th of July and found this sweet variation on fruit salad; the one side dish every barbecue should offer for those of us who find mayo-based pasta salads and potato salads a bit too heavy for a summer picnic.  Let there be fruit!

Like all fruit salads, there isn’t really a recipe.  If you don’t follow the ingredient list strictly, you’ll still end up with a perfectly delicious fruit salad regardless of which fruits you select.  The key here, in my opinion, is the dressing.  Honey and lemon define simplicity.  They’re  diverse flavors; the sweet and tangy being a perfect complement to any fruit.  Serving it inside the hollowed out watermelon rind is just a fun way to make a visual statement at your holiday picnic, but serve it any way you like.  That’s the beauty of fruit.  Have it your way.  Enjoy!


Fruit Salad w/Honey-Lemon Dressing (recipe courtesy Honey and Figs Kitchen)

Fruit Ingredients:

  • 1/2 seedless watermelon, scooped with melon baller
  • 1/2 honeydew melon, scooped with melon baller
  • 3 kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 1 c sweet cherries, pitted and halved
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 3 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp honey (taste test as you go for sweetness)
  • 2 Tbsp limoncello, optional


Whisk together honey and lemon until honey is dissolved.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.  Next, half the melons and remove fruit with melon baller.  Place watermelon and honeydew melon into medium-sized bowl.  Add sliced kiwi fruit and cherries.  Mix gently to combine the fruit.
Clean out the excess melon from the watermelon rind to create your serving bowl.  Return prepared fruit to the empty watermelon rind.  Drizzle with honey-lemon dressing just before serving.


simple summer fruit salad

One of the best things about summer is the availability of good berries.  These days you can pretty much get berries all year ’round, if you’re willing to pay for them.  But the high price doesn’t guarantee a good, quality berry.  In fact, if you’re even a little bit of a berry fan, you can taste the difference between berries purchased in December, and berries purchased in the summer – when they naturally come in to season.  Lately it seems every grocery store, specialty or otherwise, is selling berries at pretty decent prices – although, I admit to paying too much other times a year because we eat berries like candy around here.

We had some friends for over for dinner and swimming this weekend when temps finally spiked well in to the triple digits.  Triple digits have a way of altering a lot of things about menu planning.  Gone are comfort foods and starchy sides.  No more soups or stews.  So long root vegetables.  Hello salads with champagne vinaigrettes, grilled fish, and fruit.  Lots of fruit.  This particular salad doesn’t even have a “recipe.”  Just hang out in the produce aisle at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Trader Joe’s and get inspired.  Blend your bite sized pieces of fruit (I use peaches, plums, red grapes, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries) with a simple concoction of organic vanilla yogurt (I like Wallaby’s), and about a tablespoon of fresh orange juice.  But, if you need more specific instructions, see below.  Enjoy!

Simple Summer Fruit Salad (subject to interpretation)


6 oz blueberries

6 oz blackberries

8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced

3 medium peaches, sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces

3 red plums, sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 6 oz container organic vanilla yogurt (I like Wallaby’s)

1 Tbsp fresh orange juice


Peel and slice peaches and plums, slice strawberries.  Combine sliced fruit with blueberries and blackberries.  In a separate bowl, mix yogurt with 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice until well combined.  Dress fruit with yogurt and orange juice mixture, being careful not to bruise or crush the fruit.  Garnish with sprig of fresh mint and serve.