Friday 11 April 2014

Scarlet Fruit Salad with Greek Yoghurt

This luscious salad celebrates all the glorious reds of autumn fruits in South Africa. Plums, prickly pears, red grapes, raspberries and pomegranate seeds are here, plus a few triangles of startling-magenta dragon fruit, which I'm pretty sure is not grown in this country.  Still, I couldn't resist adding them: they may taste disappointingly insipid, but they are real lookers in a fruit salad.

Scarlet Fruit Salad with Greek Yoghurt

I have a slight horror of multicoloured fruit salads, particularly the finely sliced extravaganzas that were such a hit during the health-food revolution of the late Seventies.  I appreciated the idea of the fruit salads my mum prepared with such devotion, but the furry slices of banana and the cubes of paw-paw and the triangles of apple browning in their juices made my tastebuds shrivel, particularly if the salad had been sulking in the fridge overnight.  

Also, someone told me a story that made my toes curl.  A boy scout was charged with the task of making fruit salad for his pack.  "Please clean your nails before you begin," asked the scout master. "Oh, don't worry about that," replied the boy. "By the time I'm finished chopping and mixing all the fruit, my nails will be beautifully clean."

This salad is a red version of my Black Fruit Salad, featured in my cookbook and here (left) in a magazine whose name I can't remember.  

Scarlet Fruit Salad with Greek Yoghurt

4 firm red plums, stones removed, halved and sliced into crescents
250 g raspberries
250 g strawberries, hulled and halved
4 red prickly pears, chilled, peeled and cut into crescents
the seeds of a pomegranate
250 g red grapes, halved and depipped
a small dragon fruit, peeled and cut into triangles [optional]
2 Tbsp (30 ml) icing sugar, or more, to taste
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 cup (250 ml) thick creamy Greek yoghurt

Put all the fruit pieces in a big bowl.  Strew the icing sugar over the fruit, add a spritz of lemon juice and toss gently to combine.  Taste the mixture - if it's very sweet, add a little more lemon juice.

Chill the fruit for an hour or two, or until a light syrup has formed at the bottom of the bowl.  Serve in pretty bowls or glasses, topped with dollops of very cold and creamy Greek yoghurt, or whipped cream, or good vanilla ice cream.  Or you might like to try the voluptuous topping I've used for my black fruit salad - crème fraîche or mascarpone mixed with a little brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Serves 6

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