Savory Fruit Salads
For a light savory snack!
Watermelon seeds can be toasted and salted to make a crunchy nibble called 'pepitas' to serve with drinks. Dry the seeds on kitchen paper and put them, with plenty of salt, on a baking tray in a low oven for 10 minutes. Store them in an airtight jar.
Savory fruit salads are excellent fare for hors d'oeuvres, light lunches, suppers or as a 'refresher course' between the main dish and the sweet in a really hearty meal.
Those containing meat are lifesaving for slimmers as a main course because they are satisfying without being fattening. They are also useful for packed lunches because the fruit does not go soggy when dressed.
Savory fruit salads are usually a combination of fruit, vegetables, fish or meat in a dressing. This can be a good egg-based mayonnaise, a vinaigrette or any of the milder dressings (tarragon cream and English salad cream are particularly good).
When making vinaigrette for savory fruit salads, use fruit juice instead of vinegar. Lemon, lime, pineapple, grapefruit or orange juice are all good. Failing this, cider or tarragon vinegar can be used. Blue cheese and mustard vinaigrettes also go well with fruit.
For a packed lunch salad, arrange slices of apple (dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning), orange segments and drained tuna fish on a shell of crisp lettuce leaves.
For a 'refresher course' salad, peel a lemon and chop it into tiny pieces.
Mix with crisp lettuce or curly endive, cucumber, spring onions and lots of chopped fresh parsley and lemon balm. Dress with a plain vinaigrette.
For a refreshing and unusual hors d'oeuvre, serve sliced pears on a bed of Chinese cabbage. Dress with blue cheese vinaigrette.
For a main course salad, mix pineapple cubes or melon balls with ham, cold chicken, cold lamb or cold roast beef, cubed cheese and grapes.
For an Italian hors d'oeuvre, serve melon quarters or pear halves on a bed of thinly sliced Prosciutto ham. If you are unable to obtain Prosciutto, use honey roast ham.
For a tasty accompaniment to cold ham, serve pineapple cubes on a bed of crisp batavia lettuce. Dress with a pineapple vinaigrette and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.