Fruit salad with ginger and mint (6-8 servings)

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Sometimes fruit salads can be overly complicated, calling for exact quantities of a specific fruit and not allowing for substitutions. What if that particular fruit isn't available or doesn't look good that week? Or what if it's not in season? What I like about this recipe is that it calls for "summer fruit," which is deliciously vague and flexible. It does ask for sugar to be added to the fruit, but it isn't a whole lot of sugar, and it's really the mint and ginger that stand out. The original recipe claims it makes four servings, but I had at least six. (Perhaps that was because we all gorged ourselves on tacos before indulging in the fruit.)

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced ginger, unpeeled (roughly 1/4 lb)
  • 4 cups summer fruit (I used blueberries, raspberries, grapes, and plums)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped mint leaves

Steps:

  1. Add water, sugar, and ginger slices to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bowl or big measuring cup; discard ginger. Chill for at least two hours.
  2. When you're ready to serve the fruit salad, toss the fruit and mint with 1/4 cup syrup.

I loved all the colors of this fruit salad and the way the syrup made the berries shiny. I was afraid the fruit would be overly sweet or syrupy, but it really wasn't. The ginger and mint balance the sweetness nicely.

One note: The recipe makes WAY more ginger syrup than you'll use for the salad, and that's even after I halved the original recipe. I wanted to make even less of it, but I think that if I decreased the water any further, I wouldn't get a good boil in the saucepan (unless I had one of these). I kept the remaining syrup in the fridge, and I'm sure I'll use it to sweeten tea or something. Just don't be surprised when you don't use much of what you make!