When you can mosey out into the garden and pick sun- ripened fruit, then take a few steps back into the kitchen to prepare a simple, but delicious fruit bowl, I feel soooo “rich.” I am extremely thankful for the blessings from the good earth.
One of the joys of summer eating is fresh herbs. Herbs make dishes “pop!” Mixing herbs like mint, pineapple sage and lemon verbena with fruit are fireworks for your taste-buds. Herbs can turn an ordinary fruit bowl into a gourmet dish that will leave family and friends ooohing and aahing.
For our summer fruit salad, I adapted the recipe below with what we are harvesting now- apples, strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apricots. Also, instead of sugar, I like to use honey.
Summer Fruit Salad with Infused Lemon Herb Syrup
This is a light and refreshing dessert, the use of the vanilla bean makes these fruits seem exotic. Lemon balm, verbena, and lemon grass, even some orange mint, are all good in this recipe. Other fruits such as any melon, mango or papayas, berries or cherries, plums or apricots, or bananas can also be used.
Serves 8 to 10
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (or HONEY!)
1/2 vanilla bean
1 large handful of fresh lemon herb leaves, bruised
Few strips of lime zest
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
6 peaches or nectarines, peeled if desired, and sliced
1 small, ripe cantaloupe, seeded, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 large honeydew or small watermelon, seeded, and cut into bite-sized pieces
Make the flavored fruit syrup by combining the water, sugar, vanilla, herbs, and zest. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
When cooled to room temperature, strain the syrup and stir in the lime juice. At this point the syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Toss fruit in a large bowl. Pour the syrup over the fruit. Toss the mixture well. Cover the fruit and chill it for at least 1/2 hour before serving. Serve at cool room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Olney Farmers Market
Our family wishes you and yours a very Happy 4th!