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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Honey-Lemon Fruit Salad



Armenians, summertime, and melons go hand-in-hand. Armenia is said to have some of the biggest, sweetest watermelon on the planet. 

As an American-born Armenian living in Florida, I can boast that 750 million pounds of watermelon were grown in Florida in 2012, making this state the leading watermelon producer in the U.S. (This bit of trivia comes straight from the U.S. Census Bureau.)

I can’t swear that Florida watermelon tastes better than those grown in Armenia, but what we’ve eaten here so far this season has been pretty darn sweet.



Photo from ericsgourmet.com
Why not kick back on your front porch or back deck with family, friends, and a bowl of refreshing fruit salad? This honey-lemon fruit salad is perfect for summer gatherings– it’s cool, sweet, tangy, and minty – all at the same time. The honey-lemon syrup can be made a day in advance for a quick-to-serve- dessert or snack.
You can use any kind of melon you like, and add fresh seasonal berries for a special touch.


Honey-Lemon Fruit Salad

Yields about 8 servings

Honey Syrup Ingredients:
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Directions:
1. In a small saucepan combine the honey, water, lemon juice and zest. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring now and then.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced by half – about 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and cool syrup to room temperature. Set aside until ready to use.

Ingredients for the fruit salad:
1 small seedless watermelon (or about 5 cups-worth) , cut into bite-sized cubes
1 large cantaloupe, honeydew or a combination of the two, seeds removed, and cut into bite-sized cubes
1 cup seasonal berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
Optional Garnishes: chopped nuts of your choice, chopped fresh mint leaves
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the various melon cubes and berries. Drizzle the honey-lemon syrup on the fruit; gently toss to coat.
2. Place fruit in individual serving bowls. Garnish with chopped nuts of your choice, and chopped fresh mint leaves, if desired.


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