The health halo around salads gets a whole lot sweeter when you start adding fruit to the mix. Sweet-craving diners continue to love the light, fresh taste of fruit with their mixed greens and other veggies. Enterprising chefs are moving beyond the halved grapes and craisin sprinkle these days to create flavor combos that elevate and enhance what might otherwise be a ho-hum entrée salad.
Some fruits are increasingly making their way onto salad plates, including Granny Smith apples, berries, pineapple, mangoes and pomegranates. Looking for some help in creating a fruit-forward salad? Try these suggestions.
Bright, clean citrus
Sturdy citrus does well with stronger ingredients, like in the Farmhouse Chopped special from The Sycamore Kitchen in Los Angeles. It’s a blend of avocado, potatoes, cucumbers and grapefruit, all of which work surprisingly well together. Fresh new citrus twists include pomelo, the milder and sweeter grapefruit relative that’s a staple fruit in Southeast Asia. It’s a fruit that offers tart refreshment, not bitterness, so it’s a perfect player with stronger, heartier greens like kale.
Nothing beats berries
They’re in season and delicious right now, so it makes sense to include some berries in your salad offerings. Check the local farmers market to see what’s fresh and ready to go. Then get inspired with options like the popular quinoa-wheatberry salad with strawberries, smoked chicken and manchego chicharron served at Stephan Pyles’ Flora Street Café, or Chef Stephanie Izard’s Girl & The Goat kohlrabi, fennel and blueberry salad.
Choose the right dressing
When you’re composing a salad with lighter fruit flavors, you want to be sure that your dressing doesn’t clash. Put down the creamy condiments and try one of Marzetti’s Simply Dressed dressings, all made with a minimal number of all-natural, simple ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, canola oil and sea salt. Try Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, for example, as the perfect complement to a fruit-forward salad.