As a kid, summer always meant no school, warm nights, pool parties, and great food. It's the season of grilling, cold pasta salads, ice cream, and my favorite: fruit salad. If my body allowed me, I would live off fruit and pasta salad from June thru August.
Living in the Midwest we could eat my mom's fruit salad only three months out of the year, when the ingredients were freshest and in season. The same rule still applies to the produce in SoCal, but the quality of produce out here is simply wonderful.
My favorite part about my mom's fruit salad is that there's no dressing: it's simply a bunch of delicious fresh fruits chopped up nice and small (she even cuts the green grapes in half) and mixed together. The juices create their own marinade.
How do you remove your strawberry tops? After working at the family bakery, I learned a special technique to salvage as much of the sweet, juicy flesh as possible. Read about it here.
Nectarines are what, in my opinion, make this dish. I have an unhealthy obsession with all stone fruits, but nectarines are at the top of my list. They're just so... sweet. And elusive since it's hard to find good nectarines most of the year. Be sure to wait until they're completely in season, otherwise you'll end up clawing at them, trying to pry the flesh off the pit like I had to with these.
Kiwi is another finicky fruit but well worth the effort to find ripe ones and going thru the struggle of peeling them since the flavor is excellent. However, if you're allergic it's NBD if you omit the fruit. It's taken me a long time to learn how to peel the darn things and I still haven't perfected it. Any advice?
If you like a little bit of liquid, add a splash of orange or pineapple juice and mix well.
While my finished product was amazing, made a great snack, side, and dessert, this isn't the full fruit salad. I omitted the pineapple because I couldn't justify buying a whole one for a half batch of salad (my mom makes hers crowd size). Plus it was $7 for pre-cut pineapple spears! That's insane. My mom also adds cantaloupe but I happen to not like anything melon. I know I know, I'm weird.
In July I'm going to make a huge batch so I can add pineapple, then maybe start a Fruit Salad Stand to make some extra cash.... oh who am I kidding? I'm going to eat it all!