Melon and Berry Salads
Melons and Berries make great fruit salads
I wish I could say that I was a big eater of fresh fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas, but I cannot. I know how healthy they are, but my tastes tend to go toward berries, and melons, and exotic fruits. Its too bad, because sometimes those can be so expensive. Still, when I can, I buy up the ingredients that make such a great salad, its almost like a dessert instead! There is nothing like the cool tastes of your favorite fruits on a hot summer day.
Individually, I have always liked different berries, and melons, coconuts and pineapples. It wasn't until we brought a melon salad to a get together, that we realized just how good putting them all together was! We took an easy fruit salad, that we let sit overnight in the refrigerator. From the feedback we received, you would have think we just had come up with the best thing since sliced bread. People loved it and were asking us all about it. Now, it may have had something to do with the heat, in Texas that summer, but I like to think it was the simple yet yummy salad.
What is the most impressive to me about these salads, is how easy they are to prepare. Simply washing, and cutting up the fruit, or "melon balling" the melons is all that is needed. However, there are some added ingredients that people sometimes add to make it a bit sweeter, or more flavorful. You can find some good recipes online and my favorite source is the Food Network. This resource will not disappoint you.
For the berries, you often don't need to really cut them up, as they are smaller in size to begin with. I like to keep my pieces of fruit and berries in a somewhat uniform size, otherwise one type will sink to the bottom. I have found, that the longer the fruit's flavors are "melding" together, the better the salad tastes.
When I add grapes to the salads, I do cut those in half, as they have a nice look to them, and their juices are free to mix with the others.
For the berry salad, my favorite berries to use are strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. If you have access to kiwis, these can add some great color to your salads. In general, to make a beautiful looking salad, I go for color contrasts as much as I can. It helps me sometimes to narrow down my choices, and I often think of the color wheel to help me.
For instance, in a melon salad, if I can only do two melons, I go for watermelon and honeydew as they are opposites on the color wheel, and make each other's colors go "pop", so to speak. They all taste equally good to me, but some look better together in their presentation. Same would be true for berries or exotic types of fruit salads. Imagine cantaloupe and blueberries together! Complimenting a foods color can make a huge difference.
SUPER easy but fun strawberry ideas
I went to my friends graduation party one time, and my best friend saw me come in, and she said she had to show me something. So she took me over to a table filled with goodies, but at one end, was a bowl full of just strawberries with stems on. Next to this, was a bowl of sour cream, and next to that, was a bowl of brown sugar. She said, you have to try this, and showed me what you were supposed to do. You take your strawberry, dip it in sour cream, and then dip that into the brown sugar. No double dipping of course! It sounds weird at first, but that brown sugar sticks to the sour cream and strawberry, and is quite a delectable little treat! If you have never tried it you must try it sometime. Its a super easy but classy looking thing to put out at a get together. If you are concerned about the dipping aspect, put spoons in and let people spoon a little of each onto their plates.
Macerating Macerating Strawberries is something that has great effect, but with little effort. To macerate, is a term that just means that you are letting fruit soak in a liquid to absorb flavor. Often it is done with a liqueur, and sugars, or honey and other flavorings. Others use citrus juices, even vinegars, etc. This process works great if you need to bring out the flavor of the fruits you are having with a dessert. It goes well with cakes, like an angel food cake, etc. Good fruits and berries to macerate would be strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Peaches and nectarines also do well with this process. I like to just add sugar at times, and let it sit in the refrigerator. You would be amazed at how much more juice and flavor you get out of your strawberries. You don't need to add much, just a drizzle of sugar.