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5 Steps to a Great Fruit Salad

Ramadan + summer= a great time for fresh and delicious fruit salads. Believe it or not, there is a way to make fruits salads even better, particularly when they’re part of the Iftar (breaking of the fast) part of the sunset meal and need to be made ahead of time for guests.

Fresh fruit salad paired with Saffron Road’s new vegetable samosas

I have a few rules of thumb for selecting and preparing fruits for my fruit salads and hope they’ll make yours nice and fresh even when made ahead of time.

1. Select fruits that are easy to process (ie. they don’t require any pitting/hulling/picking/plucking/pulling)- you get the idea.  Who wants to spend a lot of time making a fruit salad when you have so many other things to prepare on any given day? And, even though bananas are easy to peel and cut, I don’t particularly prefer them in fruit salads because they tend to make it a bit mushy. The best fruits for salads tend to be blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes. Try different varieties to make it colorful and interesting.

2. Out of the fruits you’ve selected, choose organic. There’s really no way around this, particularly berries since if they’are sprayed with chemicals, there is nothing to peel off and you basically ingest any chemicals straight away…

Cut Strawberries

3. Once you bring fruits home, organic or not, wash them well. I like to use white vinegar to spray the fruits with or soak them in  cool water and white vinegar. Do this for a short period of time or else the fruit could turn colors- 5 to 10 minutes is sufficient.

I like to put white vinegar in a large spray bottle and keep it in the kitchen for easy access. You can get these large spray bottles at places like GFS or Restaurant Depot

Be sure to drain them well

and also dry them with a cotton cloth or paper towel

I mean really well- there’s nothing worse than a soggy salad, right?

You can use the cuttings and leftovers for compost- gives you great soil (i.e. black gold)

4. Add some interesting elements for a variety of taste and texture.

Salt and lime (or lemon) really bring out the flavors of fruit and the citrus help to prevent the fruits from browning

Get a large bowl to add and mix up all your cut fruits. Juice one lime into the bottom of the bowl before adding anything.

Add a bit of salt, depending on how much you like. I don’t add much so my fruit doesn’t taste salty- it just brings out the taste of the fruits. Some people like to add sugar- I am not particularly interested in making my salad sweeter, but if that’s your cup of tea you could do sugar instead.

I like to add raisins because they’re chewy and sweet in their own way- not bursting with juice, in contrast with the other fresh fruits

Add the fruits on top

And the juice of another lime (or lemon)

I like to add nuts, particularly sliced almonds because they add just the right amount of crunch to the salad. You could add chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, or any nuts you enjoy.

I’m generous with the amount of almonds- it really makes a difference

Then the salad needs to be mixed up well

You can tell what you might need to add just by stirring it up a bit.

I like to put them in small bowls for guests, particularly if it’s a small enough gathering.

They’re so personal- and would be great with a little cream on top…

5. Pair a fruit salad with something savory and healthy- gotta love a little bit of that sweet and savory at Iftar time…

I am in love with the new savory phyllo appetizers from Saffron Road (Vegetable Samosa and Saag Paneer). They bake fast and easy at 375 degrees F for 22 minutes exactly in my oven.


And they go so well with any fruit salad- my guests have loved them and we’ve indulged in this combo numerous times throughout Ramadan.

What are your go-to sweet and savory combos for Iftar (or any time)? 

 

8 comments

  1. Salaam! I love the way you present your food. You are one of the few people who make a fruit salad like me with nuts and lime/sugar. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas with us. Ramdan Kareem!

  2. Thanks, Deborah- I didn’t even realize how much I would like the salt and lime mixture until I tried it by accident. It’s so refreshing and I really do feel good when breaking the fast this way (after a date, of course)…

  3. Great tips! I also like to add a touch of Rose water or Orange blossom water to my fruit salads… Another great touch :)

  4. Salt, huh? I’ll have to try that, but like you…not to taste salty just to bring out the fruit more. My brother loves watermelon with salt and I could never understand why, perhaps it was to bring the sweetness out more? Guess, I’ll have to ask him now.

    A good sweety/savory combo we like in our home is khoshaf (dried fruit salad) and/or sobia (coconut w/milk) and sambusak (spinich, cheese or beef are my favorites).

    Okay, I think I better leave your site now until AFTER iftar. I’m drooling….. :-P

  5. Really simple I like to dip my saudi dates into cream cheese, and have some salted pistachios yummy!

  6. Salaam

    Thank you for shaing this, in Shaa Allah I’ll be making my fruit salad like this for Ramadan this year. I just wonder can use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of lime juice? Or will the salad not be tart from using the lime juice?
    Best wishes

    Halima

  7. Looks delish! I have try it. I usually put mango nectar/juice in my fruit salad and that tastes really good but I’m definitely going to try your recipe!!

  8. Salam All,

    thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe.

    well kindly share some of specialities in ssalads, coz I am very pleased to have salads and loves toooooooo much eating salads by making my own , can’t share the same. .

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