In The Kitchen: Fruit salad adds color, sweetness to summer menu

Fresh fruit makes a great appetizer, dessert or side dish for summer.

Fresh fruit makes a great appetizer, dessert or side dish for summer.

Chilled fruits can take the heat off the kitchen in the good ole summertime and add a sweet ending to a summer meal. Dressing fruit up just a little makes it a good dessert, appetizer, side dish or even a replacement for the traditional leafy salad.

With fresh fruits in good supply, it is easy to start with the basics of a good fruit salad and add your heart's desire to make your fruit salad special for your family. This fruit salad recipe is a one-step, slice and eat. Adding raisins, walnuts, celery or pecans to your fruit salad can give it an extra burst of flavor, although the fruit stands on its own very well.

The lime syrup and mint are optional for this salad, but it is a good addition. It's a good flavor enhancer and seems to bring out the great taste of fresh fruit even more.

Adjust the amount of ingredients in the fruit salad recipe to accommodate the number of guests you are serving.

Fruit Salad

Fresh cantaloupe, cut into bite-sized chunks

Fresh strawberries, sliced

Blueberries

Watermelon, cut into bite-size pieces

Red or white seedless grapes, cut in half if large

2 to 3 peaches, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

Toss fruit together lightly and chill.

Lime Syrup

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

Juice of 2 limes

2 leaves fresh mint (plus some for garnish)

Mix sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and cool.

Squeeze the juice of 2 limes in a small bowl. Add to syrup mixture. Chill.

When ready to serve, mince leaves of fresh mint and add to lime syrup. Spoon over fresh fruit and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

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