I grew up in a fruit household. Let me explain: my mom’s love language is fruit. It’s her favorite thing to eat all day, every day. As a result, we constantly had an abundance of fruit overflowing on the counter and in the fridge. To her delight, my brother and I caught on. We love fruit on its own, in a smoothie, eaten as a snack, and slathered in chaat masala. And as we enter the best season for fruit, I’m looking for all the ways to get as much of the sweet stuff as possible into my weekly menus. My favorite way to make it happen? This green salad with fruit that, like me, you’ll be eating all spring and summer long.
But let’s back up: green salad with fruit? I’m sure that description initiated a few eye raises. Contrary to popular belief, as a self-proclaimed foodie, there’s little I crave more in spring than the combo of crisp, peppery greens and seasonal fruit. And when it’s served alongside basil-infused ricotta, this perfect-for-spring salad becomes all the more crave-worthy.
Fitting for the warm weather, this is definitely a no-recipe recipe, letting you work with what you’ll find at the farmer’s market and letting the flavor of fresh produce speak for itself. With a few simple tricks and an understanding of how to let fruit really stand out, you’re on your way to the best green salad with fruit recipe. It’s ideal for spring—and even better for summer.
Tips for Picking the Best Fruit
Picking fruit in its prime is an art form. After grocery shopping with my dad who is very particular about the fruit he brought home and would be willing to stand and inspect every piece of fruit at the shop, I’ve learned a few tips to help you pick the most delicious fruit every time.
- Shop with the season. Buying in-season fruits is the best way to ensure you’re eating fruit at the peak of its flavor.
- The sniff test. It might be weird to stand in the aisle and smell every piece of fruit in front of you. But fresh and ripe fruits will tell you they’re ready with their beautiful fragrance.
- Pay attention to color, texture, and weight. This will depend on the fruit you’re choosing. But when you’re selecting strawberries, keep in mind their vibrancy of color. When you’re after avocados, consider the texture of their exterior. And when you want the perfect melon, a weight that feels substantial goes a long way in helping you pick one at its prime. I love this visual chart which I keep saved in my phone for reference when at the store or market.
Pair Sweet and Savory Flavors
This is especially important when it comes to in-season fruit that’s at the peak of its sweetness. Be sure to pair your fruit with savory vegetables, salty dressings, and spices that will help balance your salad’s overall flavor.
For this salad, I paired the fruit with cucumbers, buttery avocados, and spicy citrus greens for a little extra bite. From there, I added a big swipe of ricotta that I blended with black pepper and basil to add a creamy and savory flavor note. Drizzle the whole plate with lemon juice and extra salt and pepper—trust that it will be beyond addictive.
My Go-to Fruit Combinations
When it comes to salads, both sweet and savory, my overarching philosophy follows the less-is-more rule. Pick a few stand-out ingredients and let their flavors shine without muddling the whole dish. Here are a few combinations I really love:
- Peaches, strawberries, and avocados, paired with torn bread and mozzarella for a panzanella salad vibe.
- Berries, mint, pistachios, and goat cheese for a vibrant combination.
- Citrus, avocados, onions (or radishes), with mint and chaat masala is one of my go-to combinations for citrus season.
- Watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and mozzarella combine for the ultimate summer snack.
Keep dressings simple by using leftover fruit juice, a little lemon and olive oil, a healthy helping of salt and pepper, and extra fresh herbs. Be ready for your guests to be beyond impressed.
Tips for Storing Leftovers and Making Fruit Salad Ahead of Time
Fruit salad is one of those recipes that I love making ahead of time. Chop your fruits up and toss them together in an airtight container ahead of time, keeping additional ingredients like cheeses, herbs, and dressings separate until ready to serve. Important: Keep everything ice cold for the most refreshing bite.
Personally, I don’t like storing leftover fruit salad, especially with chopped ingredients, longer than a day or two. There’s nothing worse than a soggy piece of fruit, so be sure to use only what you need. Keep any chopped fruits separate to make a fresher version for the next day.
Scroll on for the recipe for this green salad with fruit, and if you make it, be sure to leave a rating and comment below!Print
Green Fruit Salad with Ricotta and Herbs
Spring and summer are all about salads. This no-recipe recipe lets you make the most of what’s fresh and in-season for the most flavorful lunch or dinner side.
- 1 pound strawberries, halved
- 2 peaches, sliced
- 2 mini cucumbers, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 handfuls greens, citrus greens, arugula, or spinach
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 bunches basil
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, crushed
- pinch of salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- olive oil for serving
- Make the ricotta. In a food processor, add the ricotta, basil, pepper, and salt. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Add all of the fruit and vegetables to a large serving bowl or platter, toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- To serve, swipe ricotta onto a serving platter (or keep on the side for people to serve themselves), and add fruit on the side. Serve cold. Enjoy!
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