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Fresh Fruit Salad with a Twist


What a great time of year for fruit! And the nectarine atop my desk was even more deliciously flavorful and juicy today with the extra day of ripening afforded by yesterday afternoon’s chocolate chip cookie snack. Nectarines, plums, and peaches are in abundance in the produce aisle and at farmers' markets, but beyond enjoying them out-of-hand, what to do with them? They always work great together in a fruit salad, and this version by Rozanne Gold (chef and cookbook author, including Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease) steps it up a notch with a bit of spirits and the fresh taste of sugary mint. It’s great for a fresh dessert, a snack, or a relaxing summer weekend brunch.

Stone Fruit Salad with Fresh Sugared Mint

Serves 6

You want to choose the ripest fruit you can for this amazing, and simple, fruit salad. The colors and flavors are vibrant and the flourish of freshly-made sugared mint makes it sparkle. It’s a great addition to brunch (fabulous with French toast!) or as a refreshing summer dessert. Substitute orange or pineapple juice for the peach schnapps for an alcohol-free alternative.

2 lbs. mixed peaches and nectarines
1 lb. ripe plums
1 pt. raspberries
¼ c. peach schnapps
½ c. granulated sugar
¹⁄3 c. chopped fresh mint, about one bunch

Wash fruit and dry well. Cut peaches, nectarines, and plums into small pieces, about ½-inch. Place in a large bowl. Add schnapps and 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss. Add raspberries and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

If you want big mint pieces as pictured, simply toss the mint with the remaining sugar, and spill the mint and sugar out onto a piece of parchment paper to dry. When it is dry enough to touch, use a fork to remove mint pieces and use those as garnish. If you prefer traditional mint sugar, simply add your remaining sugar to a food processor with the mint and process until mint is incorporated; the resulting mint sugar will have a pretty sandy pale green quality.

Just before serving, toss fruit gently. Transfer to small bowls or wine glasses. Sprinkle with sugared mint or mint sugar and serve immediately.

Nutrition information: Stone Fruit Salad
fresh sugared mint: PER SERVING: CALORIES 164 (5 from fat); FAT 1g (sat. 0g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 1mg; CARB 36g; FIBER 5g; PROTEIN 2g

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