Our mom, who could supreme a citrus fruit fast enough to qualify for the Cooking Olympics, made a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad for us to snack on over summer weekends. It was a healthier alternative, but still had eye- and palate appeal for kids.
Winter fruit salad colors were a mix of pink grapefruit, oranges and pineapple, green and red grapes. There were splashes of white from diced apples and pears.
When summer arrived, with vividly colored fruits galore, Mom switched from the winter lineup to what she called “Kaleidoscope Fruit Salad,” after the device we played with as kids (if you’ve never seen one, here’s an online kaleidoscope).
So today’s tip is: Make a Kaleidoscope Fruit Salad. Or if you prefer:
Make rainbow fruit kabobs, following the color of the rainbow, as in the photo below.
Serve a plate of bright-colored, sliced fruits with a bright colored dip (see the recipe for Blueberry Dip below).
Breakfast, with yogurt or cottage cheese.
Or, turn the fruit salad into:
You can get much more colorful than this: Add blueberries and/or blackberries, for starters. Photo courtesy McCormick.
A luncheon salad or first course, placing the fruits on a bed of greens and topping them with crumbled cheese: blue, chèvre or feta.
Dessert, with a scoop of sorbet, flavored yogurt or cinnamon-accented sour cream. You can also marinate the fruit salad with a tablespoon or two of orange liqueur.
You can do the same with a multicolored vegetable salad.
Make “rainbow” fruit kabobs. Photo courtesy Dishmaps.com.
RECIPE: BLUEBERRY DIP FOR FRESH FRUIT
This recipe, from the Highbush Blueberry Council, produces the most beautiful heliotrope-colored dip (a medium purple).
3 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1/3 cup light cream cheese
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1. PLACE 2 cups of the blueberries, the cream cheese and the preserves in the container of a food processor or blender. Whirl until smooth.
2. TRANSFER to a serving bowl; cover and refrigerate until serving.
THE COLOR WHEEL OF SUMMER* FRUITS
Brown fruits: dates, figs
Green fruits: apples, avocado, figs, grapes, gooseberries, honeydew, kiwi, plums
Orange fruits: apricot, cantaloupe/crenshaw melons, gooseberries, kumquats, mango, oranges, mandarins, papaya
Purple fruits: blackberries, blueberries, figs, grapes
Red and pink fruits: apples, blood orange, cherries, currants (also called “champagne grapes”), dragonfruit, gooseberries, grapes, guava, plums, pomegranate arils,raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
Yellow fruits: apples, carambola/starfruit, cherries (Queen Anne, Rainier), figs, golden kiwi, golden raspberries, goosberries, jackfruit, lemon, nectarines, peaches, plums
White and beige fruits: apple, Asian pear, banana, cherimoya, coconut, lychee, pear, rambutan, white peaches
Go forth and make edible kaleidoscopes and rainbows.
*The “summer fruits” list also includes fruits that are available year-round. If a peel of a different color is left on the fruit, we’ve double-counted it in both color groups (e.g., green apples with white flesh).