This simple and easy red, white, and blue fruit salad with honey lime dressing is the best recipe for your summer holiday parties and picnics from Memorial Day and July 4th to Labor Day and even Flag Day. The star shaped peaches and watermelons are sure to be showstoppers at every meal!
How to Make Patriotic Red, White, & Blue Fruit Salad
The ingredients you'll need:
For the salad:
- 1 small watermelon, seedless if possible
- 3 medium peaches, freestone - this is important!
- 16 ounces strawberries
- 16 ounces blueberries
For the dressing:
- 2 ½ tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped or snipped
- 1 lime
How to make the dressing:
- Spritz a measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray, then use it to measure out the honey. 2-½ tablespoons is a bit more than ⅛ cup. Place the honey in a small bowl.
- Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the bowl, being careful not to get any seeds in there. If seeds do get through, scoop them out with a spoon.
- Add chopped mint and whisk until mixed well. Set dressing aside.
How to make the salad:
- Wash the strawberries and remove the stems (discard). Then, slice or chop the strawberries into smaller pieces. I like to use an egg slicer for this because strawberries are slippery. Add the pieces to a large bowl.
- Wash blueberries and add them to the bowl.
- Slice the watermelon into big, round slices. Each slice should be about an inch or so thick. Lay them flat. (If the slices are too thin, they may break while you’re trying to cut the stars. But if they’re too thick you, may not be able to get the cookie cutter through.) Use the star shaped cookie cutter to cut the watermelon slices into star. Repeat until you’ve cut out as many stars as you can. Place the watermelon stars in the bowl.
- Remove the skin from the peaches using your desired method (see notes section below). Cut each peach in half and twist the halves to release the pit. Then slice the peach into ½" slices and lay the slices out flat. Use your cookie cutter to cut stars out of the peach slices, the same way you did with the watermelon. Make as many stars as you can and place them in the bowl.
Assembling the salad:
- Drizzle the honey lime dressing on top of the fruit. Use a spatula to carefully mix all the fruit around until evenly coated.
- Garnish with lime zest and/or mint leaves.
Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad is best eaten immediately but will keep in the fridge (covered) for up to 3 days.
How to peel the peaches
Remove the skin from the peaches using your desired method (see notes section below). The two most reliable peeling methods are:
- Use a serrated peeler to peel the skin as you would peel a potato.
- Blanch and shock the peaches. This sounds crazy, but it is actually my preferred method as it doesn't involve holding a tender and juicy fruit in my hand while I attempt to peel it with a handheld peeler. Read more below.
Blanch and shock the peaches means that you cook them for a few seconds and then fish them out of the boiling water and plunge them immediately into ice water. To do this, you will slice a big X into the bottom of the peach, fully submerge it into a pot of boiling water for a full 30 seconds, and then dunk it into a bowl of very icy water for an additional 15 seconds. Remove it from the ice bath, dry it off with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, and the skin should pretty much slip off. If necessary, you might have to get it started with a sharp paring knife, but generally that is not necessary.
Removing the pit from the peaches
There are 2 kinds of peaches: freestone and clingstone. They are exactly what the names imply: clingstone peach seeds (also called pits or stones) are firmly attached to the flesh of the peach. You have to cut them apart which will be messy and may ruin your slices which will also ruin your stars. If the peaches are freestone peaches, you will be able to cut the peach in half, twist the halves, and the pit will be loose like an avocado pit. You can just pluck it out.
Tips for a Better Red, White, & Blue Fruit Salad
Who doesn't love fruit? You could really go crazy with this salad, using as many different fruits as possible (but if you're looking for a patriotic salad, you will want to stick to the red, white, and blue theme.)
Other fruit that would work well in this salad include cherries, apples (the dressing will prevent browning), pineapple, blackberries, and raspberries.
The dressing for this salad has two very important parts: acid to prevent browning and give the salad a slight tartness and a sweetener to bring out the flavor in the fruit.
You could use any acidic fruit including lemon or orange instead of lime.
You can substitute agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey. Any of these will help to balance out the fruit and add a little thickness to the dressing, though they will all bring different flavors to the finished salad.