It’s summer and food plays an important part in our well-being, which means eating healthy and light make us enjoy more the hot days, whether we are somewhere on holidays, at home, office or somewhere else. It would be great if we include vegetables in our summer menu, but it would be perfect if fruits are part of our daily menu during summer, so why not feast on Mother Nature’s gift of refreshing summer fruit? Cherries, strawberries, redcurrants, cantaloupe melon are the queens of summer fruits and they deserve to come altogether in a summer fruit plate with lime, mint and vanilla syrup. Make summer days unforgettable by adding this delicious combination of fruit on your table.
This kind of summer fruit plate is perfect with whatever fruit you fancy but this seasonal fruit salad recipe is all about the juicy fruit and lovely, thick vanilla syrup.
For the syrup
100 g golden caster sugar
1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked, stalks reserved
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 vanilla pod, scored length ways, seeds scraped out, pod reserved
For the fruit
1 punnet ripe strawberries
2 handfuls cherries
2 punnets blackberries
1 small punnet redcurrants
2 ripe peaches
1 small cantaloupe melon
natural yogurt, to serve, optional
Make the syrup. Place the sugar and mint stalks in a small saucepan with 200ml water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat off, then add the lime zest and juice, vanilla pod and seeds. Mix it all together and place to one side to cool down. You want a lovely thick syrup, but remember it will thicken as it cools.
Wash the fruit gently in cold water and drain in a colander. Halve and stone the cherries and chop any larger berries in half, then spread them out on a wide, flat dish. Halve and stone the peaches and apricots, then cut them into nice wedges and put with the berries.
Halve the melon, scoop out the seeds and chuck them away. With the same spoon, over the dish of fruit, scoop out curls of melon until you reach the green skin. Pour half of the syrup over the fruit, cover and chill for a while, so it soaks up all that lovely flavor.
To serve, pick out the mint stalks, then sprinkle over the mint leaves. Serve with dollops of natural yogurt if you like, and a little jug of your leftover syrup for drizzling over.
Recipe source: Jamie Oliver