One of the many great parts of summer is fresh fruit. It is such a treat to go to farmer's markets, or even the local grocery store and see all the berries and melons at our finger tips. A few years ago, my co-worker B and I used to each bring in a few different kinds of fruit at the beginning of the week. Then we would make a fruit salad and have a giant bowl of it in the fridge to leisurely eat all week. Sometimes we would add to it as the week went on, but what a fun activity to share at work...and a built-in snack too. I am so much more likely to eat fruit if it is already cleaned and cut. And if you share the duty with someone else, and make it ahead of time, it makes the experience so easy.
If you live in an area with fresh blackberries, they would make a great addition as well. I have been carrying around plastic containers for about two weeks now...because you never know when you may come across a prickly blackberry bush. I was picking some the other day and it was utter bliss. The sun was warm on my back...cooking the blackberries, making the whole area smell of fresh blackberry jam. A recipe will soon appear. In the meantime, make some honey fruit salad.
Honey Mint Fruit Salad
Yields about 3 cups salad
This recipe starts you off by making honey simple syrup. Traditionally simple syrup is made with sugar and water. But I decided to do honey for a healthier and different flavor. It yields about 2/3 cup of syrup, and the recipe only calls for 1 Tbsp for the salad. So save the rest and sweeten your tea, mojitos or more salads with it. Also, this recipe includes cantaloupe and blueberries, but feel free to use any type of fruit combination!
1/3 cup honey
1 cup water
1/2 cantaloupe, cubed
1 1/2 cup blueberries
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (use the same lemon from zesting)
1 Tbsp honey syrup
2-3 Tbsp fresh mint, minced
Make the honey syrup first by bringing the honey and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid volume has reduced and is a syrupy texture. Occasionally whisk the syrup while it is simmering to help the honey dissolve evenly. Take off heat and cool completely. You can quicken the process by putting the pot into the refrigerator for awhile.
Meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients. Chop the cantaloupe and wash the berries. Zest the lemon onto the fruit and then squeeze the juice over the salad. Add about 1 Tbsp of the honey syrup and top with mint. Toss it so every piece of fruit gets syrup and mint. Enjoy immediately.