It’s time to bring back the fruit salad! My Summer Fruit Salad with Orange Vanilla Yogurt Dressing is a modern spin on classic fruit salad.
Is it just me or is the fruit salad something of a bygone era? It seems every brunch or gathering I attend, there is a platter of stunningly beautiful fruit, but it just kinda sits there. Where’s the fruit salad?
I get numerous requests from my clients for fruit salad in the summer, however, I’ve not found one that I really liked. They were either labor-intensive or I didn’t like the combination of fruit or dressing. Therefore, I came up with my own.
Honestly, I was not terribly crazy about the fruit salad of my younger days. I don’t recall a lot of freshness going on as it usually involved canned fruit cocktail. Is that even real fruit? Have never eaten it–seriously. But, my mom did the best she could. At the time, varieties of fruit that were available at Jurgella’s Grocery and Bob’s Food King in the local town were quite limited.
We always had strawberries, blueberries and cantaloupe on the farm. Blueberries became pie (OMG Mom’s pies!) and strawberries were spooned over shortcake.
To this day, every cantaloupe reminds me of my dad. He’d bring in a cantaloupe from the garden that was still warm from the sun, spread newspaper out on the kitchen table, pull out his jackknife and slice it for us to devour. Happy memory!
I tried a variety of different types of summer fruit together and found it best to keep it simple. Strawberries, blueberries and cantaloupe are perfectly happy together and there’s not much labor involved.
All you need to do is wash the blueberries and they’re done. Wash the strawberries then slice.
My dad didn’t, but always, always, always wash the exterior of any melon thoroughly before cutting into it. Yes, we survived, but remember, that melon was on the ground–somewhere. If you don’t wash it thoroughly, you can transfer bacteria from the outside onto the flesh of the melon.
Remove the seeds and using the small end of a melon-baller, scoop as many little melon balls as possible. You need approximately 6 cups for this recipe. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect; try not to waste a lot of the melon.
Whereas a summer fruit salad of another era often contained processed freezer whipped topping or mayonnaise, my fruit salad dressing has Greek yogurt. Yes, yes! Are you with me yet? Thick, rich Greek yogurt with freshly squeezed orange juice, vanilla extract and agave nectar!
You can use nonfat Greek yogurt, but it can be too thin to coat the fruit; I prefer the viscosity of whole milk yogurt.
I’m finally in love with fruit salad!
- 1 pound strawberries, sliced
- 1 dry pint blueberries
- 6 cups cantaloupe balls (approximately 1 medium or 1/2 large)
- 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons orange juice (approximately 1/2 large orange)
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- orange zest, for garnish
- mint leaves, for garnish
- Combine strawberries, blueberries and cantaloupe in a large bowl.
- Combine yogurt, orange juice, agave nectar and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Pour over salad and gently toss.
- Garnish with orange zest and mint leaves and serve immediately.