Plated + Served: Fragrant Fruit Salad
This festive Fragrant Fruit Salad just looks like the holidays, don’t you agree? And, even better, it’s healthy!
It’s not just the luscious mangos and papayas or the juicy citrus fruit that makes this so perfect for the season. The unique jamaica flower vinaigrette brightens the flavors while adding a dramatic bit of color… and the candied pecans give it just the right amount of crunch.
I wrote this recipe for my friends at Right@Home, the bilingual website that has it all, including new holiday recipes, cleaning and organizing tips, decorating ideas and craft projects for you and the kids. Oh, and don’t forget about the website’s special offers! This is the perfect salad to bring to a party. Just place the fruit, vinaigrette, lettuce and candied pecans in separate Ziploc® Brand Bags, to make it easy to carry, then toss them together when you arrive! Make sure you sign up for Right@Home email alerts with the registration link so you’re always in the know… all year long! Click here to sign up!
Fragrant Fruit Salad
prep: 30 minutes
cook: 10 minutes
serves: 12 to 14
for the vinaigrette you’ll need…
4 ounces dried jamaica flowers, crushed*
2 cloves garlic
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
⅓ cup lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups canola oil or vegetable oil
*jamaica flowers, also known as hibiscus, can be found in Latin American and Caribbean supermarkets and bodegas.
for the picante pecans you’ll need…
1 egg white
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups pecans (use 1 cup for the salad and serve the rest as a snack)
for the fruit salad you’ll need…
12 cups spinach, mixed greens or your favorite lettuce
2 cups fresh papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh mango, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups grapefruit, peeled, pith removed, seeded and sectioned
2 cups navel oranges, peeled, pith removed and sectioned
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds (optional)
kiwi, clementines, tangerines, Mandarin oranges can also be used
let’s get to it…
Place the crushed jamica flowers in a blender and pulse into a fine powder, about 10 seconds. Add the garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar and salt and blend, about 20 seconds.
Blend on the lowest possible speed and add the oil until completely blended and emulsified, about 30 seconds. (This vinaigrette can be made the day before… the flavors intensify! Remember to refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
Beat the egg white until stiff; stir in brown sugar and cayenne pepper.
Add pecans and stir until coated. Spread on cookie sheet and bake until brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Place washed spinach, mixed greens or lettuce into a large serving bowl. Add papaya, mango, grapefruit, oranges and red onion. Toss gently to mix.
Drizzle vinaigrette on salad and toss gently. Top with Picante Pecans and cranberries or pomegranate seeds, if using.
cooking know how: Slice the fruit and prepare the vinaigrette and pecans the day before you plan to serve the salad and store in separate Ziploc® Brand Bags. Everything will stay fresh, and you’ll have an easy time putting the salad together right before the meal!
Also, the seasoned pecans make a great snack for everyone to enjoy while you’re making the salad or afterward. Sprinkle over ice cream for dessert.