You can make this one year round with fruits that you find at your corner grocery (and the freezer aisle!)
I used to make a version of this salad years ago. It was my signature dish, and the funny part is, there is no cooking involved. Somehow, my guest always knew that there was a tub of refreshing fruit salad in the back of the fridge at all times. It was the thing that got requested the most by recovering new moms in the family (read, my sisters) and also, the only Shabbos dessert nobody got tired of.
So, what happened? Why all this past tense?
Here is what happened: Passion fruit pulp became unattainable. Fresh passion fruit is far too expensive. Yes, this salad can be prepared without the passion fruit too, but, eh, it’s not the same.
So, our favorite fruit salad got forgotten, for a long while. Until, one day, my daughter piped up “I made a yummy fruit salad today and we are loving it! I added the passion fruit cubes and it tastes like the one you used to prepare years ago.”
(Yes, I have a married daughter now and it’s weird because she was 12 just yesterday. I simply turned around.)
I had seen the passion fruit cubes in the freezer aisle, even used them (this dessert was such a hit!) yet I had completely forgotten about my fruit salad. This is why it’s important to listen to your kids, they will remind you of things you used to do, and sometimes even the good stuff you used to do.
So, what about this fruit salad? How special can it already be? Reading the ingredients sure doesn’t make it sound special, I know you are thinking that.
But, don’t knock it down until you try it. Have I ever steered you wrong?
There are a few key factors, so pay attention:
1- The fruit needs to be good. If you have a bad pineapple sitting around, putting it into a salad won’t fix it. Pick nice, ripe produce. Taste it and make sure it’s salad-worthy.
2- Small dice! The way that you cut the fruit is not only aesthetically important but it also adds to the taste factor. Just like in our Mango Salsa. Somehow, the small dice makes all the difference. So, take your time and put a bit of extra effort with that. It’s worth it.
3- No mushy fruits. No bananas, strawberries, papaya, oranges, grapes, to name a few. Crunch is key. Leah Schapira doesn’t put any kiwi in her version, so feel free to skip the kiwi, but I don’t mind it. I make sure to select firm ones.
4- Covering the salad with orange juice will KEEP IT CRUNCHY and prevent it from becoming mush. I know. It sounds like it doesn’t make sense, but it does. Obviously, the salad will be best fresh, on the first or second day, and get mushier with time. But it will last in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, no problem.
5- Shortcuts: You can buy pre-sliced produce (sometimes, when you only want a half a pineapple and a half a cantaloupe, the cost makes sense!) and cut it into smaller pieces, to save time. Same for pre-seeded pomegranates. It’s your call, we don’t judge. Even if you buy just a couple of the fruits pre-sliced, it makes the whole prep a lot less intimidating.
Tropical Fruit Salad
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- ½ pineapple, finely diced
- ½ cantaloupe, finely diced
- 1 green apple, unpeeled, finely diced
- 3-4 firm kiwis, finely diced
- 2 firm persimmons, peeled and finely diced
- 1 firm mango, finely diced
- orange juice to cover
- 6-7 cubes of frozen passion fruit
- Combine all the cut up fruit in a large bowl. Cover with juice and add the frozen passion fruit. Mix together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Here is my recipe, although I will admit it changes according to the fruit I buy. This is a suggestion, feel free to add pears or honeydew for example, or remove any fruit you dislike.
If you want to take this over the top, serve it with our “coulis crumbs” as we call them between us. Somehow, there is always a tub of them in my freezer, and adding a bit of crunch takes this salad from “snack” to “fancy dessert” status.