This fruit salad recipe with fresh mint, crushed walnuts, and a citrus and honey dressing is sweet, tart, fresh, and delicious. Make this summer fruit salad recipe for your next BBQ!
Fruit salad, like any good salad recipe, needs a really good dressing.
To me, fruit salads often miss the mark on one of my essential salad rules: delicious dressing! Naked fruit salads often feel like a smoothie that hasn’t been blended yet. And, while throwing a medley of fresh fruits in a bowl will do the trick in a pinch, this fruit salad recipe takes things up a notch with a sweet-meets-tart dressing.
The lime and honey syrup mixes with fresh berries and cherries to tie all the flavors together, marrying the fruits to make them more balanced and cohesive. Just a splash of rose water or orange blossom water is totally optional but adds a distinctly Mediterranean flair that sets this fruit salad apart and will leave your guests asking for the recipe. In fact, this one was such a hit I included it in my first cookbook!
Table of Contents
What You'll Need
This fruit salad recipe works well with whichever fresh fruits are in season, look for the best available at the market, or whatever you have on hand. Here’s what I use in the late summer and early fall, but feel free to tweak the salad to meet your needs (or for more of a citrus-focus, check out our citrus salad):
- Limes: Make a citrusy dressing to draw the flavors together. Feel free to substitute lemons.
- Honey: Gives balance and body to the dressing. Use a high quality variety that’s on the lighter side, like our Greek Alfa honey.
- Rosewater or orange blossom water (optional): You can leave it off or order our favorite all natural floral waters from our shop. Keep in mind not all rose water is created equal. Look for one without alcohol.
- Fresh fruit: I used a variety of red fruits—cherries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Pomegranate seeds add crunch but you can leave them off if you can’t find any—or grab the seeds that come in the plastic tubs.
- Walnuts: Add crunch and an earthy quality to balance the bright fruit salad.
- Mint: Adds a refreshing quality and is a classic pairing for rosewater.
How to Make Fruit Salad
To make a basic fruit salad, just throw seasonal fruits in a bowl and mix. This recipe takes things a step further, adding a bright dressing, a hint of rose water, and fresh herbs. Here’s how I make this summer fruit salad:
- Make the dressing. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the juice of 3 limes and 3 tablespoons of honey. Stir just until the honey is incorporated and the mixture is warm, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon of rosewater or orange blossom water, if using. Set aside to cool.
- Mix the salad. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of halved cherries, 2 cups of thinly sliced strawberries, 1 cup of blackberries, ½ cup of raspberries, and ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds (if using). Add the dressing and give the fruit a gentle toss to combine.
- Finish and serve. Add ⅓ cup of chopped walnuts and 2 tablespoons of mint. Gently toss to combine. Transfer the salad to a platter or individual bowls and serve.
Can you Make Fruit Salad Ahead of Time?
To get ahead, mix the fruits in a large bowl. Keep in your refrigerator for up to one day. You can make the dressing a few hours beforehand, cover, and set aside at room temperature. When you’re ready to serve, give the dressing a final whisk, add the herbs and toss with the salad.
What to Serve with Summer Fruit Salad
This sweet-meets-tart fruit salad recipe works best as part of a summer BBQ. Grill sweet corn on the cob, zucchini, and a savory entree. Slightly spicy, smoky grilled harissa chicken will hit all the notes for a big flavor party. Grilled skirt steak or swordfish, with a lemon and garlic marinade would also play well with the bright fruit salad.
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Fruit Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing
For the Dressing
- 3 large limes, juiced (about 6 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon rosewater or orange blossom water (optional)
For the Salad
- 2 cups thinly sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 cup blackberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped walnuts, raw or toasted
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
- Make the dressing. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the lime juice and honey. Stir just until the honey is incorporated and the mixture is warm, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater, if using. Set aside to cool.
- Mix the salad. In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and pomegranate seeds (if using). Add the dressing and give the fruit a gentle toss to combine.
- Finish and serve. Add the walnuts and mint and gently toss. Transfer the salad to a platter or individual bowls and serve.