Food On The Hill: Fresh Fruit Salad With Spearmint

Food on the Hill
Los Alamos
This week’s recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad with Spearmint
Felicia Orth/

A few things I know about fresh fruit salad:

  • Everybody likes it. Really, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t.
  • It’s not tricky to prepare. Time-consuming if, like me, you are scrupulous about washing it all carefully and chopping everything into bite-size chunks, but not otherwise challenging.
  • It’s always colorful, even if you only pay a little attention to that sort of thing.
  • No recipe is needed. Just go to the produce section and find the fruits that catch your eye and are ripe. If fresh mint grows in your yard, choose a handful of the smaller leaves from your plants and mince. Otherwise a single package of mint, stemmed and minced, will brighten the flavor of an entire mixing bowl of fruits.
  • It’s best to avoid fruits that go mush in a short time, like bananas and kiwi. The fruits I serve the most include berries, pineapple, peaches, grapes, and melon.
  • It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, kid-friendly and no added sugar is necessary.
  • “Dressing” a fresh fruit salad is not only not necessary, but undesirable, especially if that dressing includes flour and sugar. I spent years looking for a nice dressing that didn’t mask the flavors of the fruit, and experimented a lot with fresh lime juice and honey. I tried just a bit of powdered sugar and sprinkles of aged balsamic vinegar. Every dressing made the different fruits taste the same—each bit tasted of dressing, not distinctly itself. Then I tried minced fresh spearmint with nothing else. Yerba Buena! The fruit still tastes like fruit, but the flavors are more vibrant.
  • A fruit salad is versatile. Although I no longer add anything but minced spearmint to a fruit salad, when I serve it for dessert, yogurt or sorbet on the side makes it more special. It is also good as a topping for oatmeal, pancakes or waffles. Make a fresh fruit salad today!

Editor’s Felicia Orth is a local home cook; she can be reached at

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