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Minimum Preparation : Fresh Fruit Salads Give Meals a Combination of Flavors and Appearances

September 05, 1985

Fruit salads are an excellent way to satisfy the need for light, refreshing accompaniments to summer meals. The abundance of fresh fruit available combines with other ingredients for some especially appealing combinations--both in flavor and appearance.

Fresh strawberries, pineapple, grapes and bananas combine with whipping cream and honey in Creamy Fruit Salad, a recipe with minimum preparation and maximum results.

Summer outings require salads that can be prepared in advance, are easily transported and require minimal last-minute attention. Portable Fruit Salad fills the bill with a combination of bananas, cherries, watermelon, grapes and papaya served with a Poppy Seed Dressing.

Fruit Combination

Kiwi-Melon Salad is a combination of kiwi slices and assorted melon balls. It's enhanced with Creamy Dressing, prepared from a base of mayonnaise and coconut. Or for a refreshing change, marinate kiwi and melon in a blend of lemon juice, sugar water and a hint of rum in Marinated Kiwi Salad.

Nectarines team up with fresh vegetables in Summer Patio Salad. The tangy dressing enhances the sweetness of the fruit chunks. Use a blender in the preparation of Jellied Plum Salad. Unmold onto salad greens and serve with a lemon-mayonnaise dressing.

CREAMY FRUIT SALAD

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons honey

Lemon juice

1 pint strawberries, hulls removed

1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 medium bunch seedless grapes

2 bananas

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add honey and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and beat until stiff.

Cut strawberries in halves into large bowl and add pineapple and grapes. Slice bananas into small bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, stirring to coat. Add to large bowl of fruit.

Fold whipped cream mixture into fruit, coating each piece. Makes 8 servings.

PORTABLE FRUIT SALAD

1 medium banana, cut in spears

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

2 cups sweet cherries, stemmed

1/2 pound watermelon, cut in small wedges

4 small clusters green grapes

1 medium papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced

Poppy Seed Dressing

Dip banana in lemon juice to prevent darkening. Arrange banana, cherries, watermelon, grapes and papaya in container with lid. Serve with Poppy Seed Dressing. Makes about 6 servings.

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup oil

Beat together honey, lemon juice, poppy seeds and salt. Gradually beat in oil until dressing thickens. Cover and chill. Makes about 2/3 cup.

KIWI-MELON SALAD

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup flaked or shredded coconut, toasted

4 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 quart assorted melon balls (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)

Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar and coconut in small bowl. Mix to blend well. Serve as dressing over kiwi and melon balls. Makes 6 servings.

MARINATED KIWI-MELON SALAD

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon peel

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup rum

4 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 quart melon balls (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)

Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice and rum. Cool.

Pour lemon-rum syrup over kiwi and melon balls. Chill to marinate. Spoon fruit and some of syrup into individual serving dishes. Makes 6 servings.

SUMMER PATIO SALAD

1/2 pound Chinese pea pods

2 to 4 heads Belgian endive or 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 4 sticks

2 nectarines, cut into chunks

1 large green pepper, cut into chunks

1 small onion, thinly sliced

Tangy Dressing

Steam pea pods over small amount of water 1 minute or until tender-crisp. Arrange endive leaves in spoke fashion on salad plate (cut large leaves lengthwise in halves). Place pea pods between endive leaves.

Stack nectarines and green pepper in center. Top with onion. Sprinkle Tangy Dressing over salad. Makes 4 servings.

Tangy Dressing

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon tarragon

Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, basil and tarragon in jar and shake well to combine. Makes about 1 cup.

JELLIED PLUM SALAD

2 pounds plums (about 12)

1 1/2 cups water

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 cup sugar

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate

Salad greens

Halve and pit plums. Place in saucepan with 1 cup water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until plums are tender.

Pour into blender container. Blend on high speed 30 seconds. Add water, if necessary, to make 3 1/2 cups. Dissolve gelatin in remaining 1/2 cup water. Add to blender with sugar. Blend 5 seconds more.

Pour into 1-quart mold and chill until firm. Make dressing by combining mayonnaise and lemonade concentrate. Pour into pitcher, cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Unmold salad onto serving plate lined with salad greens. Serve with dressing. Makes 6 servings.

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