I love Summer! Summer is the season for abundant fruit selection. From grocery stores to farms stands, gorgeous, flavorful enticing fruit surrounds us. Just looking at the bountiful selections makes me feel healthier. I have blogged about how to make an irresistible winter fruit platter. Here, some of the same principles apply: focus on fruit that is in-season, prep and assemble head, and give your guests or family choices. But the options are even more plentiful in summer than in winter. Juicy, bold fruits in varying hues, shapes and textures make it even easier to create a stunning Summer fruit platter for any occasion.
Seasonal Summer Fruit: My Summer fruit platters are void of dried fruits and nuts. You can include them, but they are not needed. For Summer, berries are a must. Red and blues hues set the stage for an eye-popping platter, and are guaranteed to please almost anyone. I also love to include some tropical fruits. Thinly sliced pineapple and papaya slices with the rinds left on provide color and texture contrast. But don’t stop there. Consider adding mango slices; kiwi halves; red tomarillo (cut in half); stone fruit; nectarines, peaches, and plums. And lastly, cherries. Cherries are my “grapes” of summer. While you can use grapes, cherries are a great seasonal variation that most adults and children enjoy. A few simple pointers on assembling a great Summer fruit platter are below.
Advanced Prep: Chefs prep everything advance. Everything. This is how so many things get done at precisely the same time. This is a concept my husband strives to master. It’s a true art form. While prepping makes assembling a Summer fruit platter easier, warm temperatures are not your friend. Fruit wilts. My strategy for prepping fruit is breaking it all down. Wash and lightly dry all fruit. Most fruits can be sliced in advance, wrapped in damp paper town and placed on a plate or in Ziplock bags. Each fruit goes in its own bag, so flavors don’t mix. Store everything in your refrigerator’s vegetables drawers. The last phase—platter assembly–takes substantially less time as all you are doing is placing the prepped fruit before guests arrive. And it will all still be cold!
Platter Assembly: Fruit in its pure form is stunning. In other words, fruit does the work for you. So assembly should not take too much thought. Select an appropriate size board. Stone, marble, ceramic, wood–all word well. Size down your platter so the fruit appears abundant. As with my vegetable platter and charcuterie board I tend to like to keep it simple and unstructured. Summer is a casual time, your fruit should look as relaxed as you want your guests to feel. Mix up colors and positioning to allow for easy grabbing and nibbling. Watermelon basket carving is a whole new level we can go to, but I’ll blog about that next time.