Seasonal fruit salads are perfect for light meals or desserts in the summertime, and adding lime and mint just brightens the flavors. When the temperatures start to soar, the boys and I like to pair fruit salad with fresh cheese and whole grain crackers for a healthy lunch. I don’t measure the fruit, I just put a few spoonfuls in each bowl, and I kinda sorta make a wild scientific guess as I stir together the lime syrup, so don’t hold me to any of these measurements. Just relax, kick back, and enjoy the last days of summer as you savor the salad.
This version uses fresh cantaloupe and strawberries, although you can choose from a host of fruits, including blueberries, watermelon, mango, kiwi, raspberries, and blackberries. The lime syrup is made from simple syrup that I always have in my refrigerator, and the mint comes fresh from my container herb garden.
This is my (late) contribution to La Festa Al Fresco, an annual event hosted by Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice. These gals throw quite a party, so be sure to head on over to the round-up on September 9.
[Updated June 2009.]
CANTALOUPE STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH LIME SYRUP AND MINT
fresh cantaloupe, cut into bite-sized chunks, chilled
fresh strawberries, cut into quarters, chilled
zest of 1 lime
juice of 2 limes
fresh mint leaves, minced
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1. SYRUP: Bring the water to boil then stir in the sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolves completely, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in a plastic squeeze bottle for easy dispensing.
2. Pour 1/4 cup of the simple syrup into a small bowl. Add the lime zest and juice, and stir. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
3. To serve, put the fruit into salad bowls, pour the lime-infused syrup over the fruit and garnish with the minced mint leaves. Enjoy immediately.