Lemon Nectarine Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint
This simple salad is one of my favorite summer treats and it comes to mind at just the right time! Our summer days are packed with swimming and sweating it seems. And who has the time, energy or desire to slave away in the kitchen?? Not this girl!
But with just a few ingredients and the chop of my knife, I have a gorgeously tasty, happily healthy, seasonal salad.
When selecting nectarines, sometimes it is hard to find the prefect ripeness in the store. Never buy a nectarine that is so ripe it goes to mush when you press on it. It won’t make it through the check out, loading, car ride and unloading without bruising and probably bursting & oozing everywhere ((not that I would know anything about that!)).
For this recipe, if you can’t find semi-ripe nectarines, you can err on the side of underripe ((in other words hard as a rock or close to it)) for this recipe and stick just them in a brown paper sack for a day or three until they are tender to the touch.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is…..
Yes, I ALWAYS keep a few boxes of lemon jello on hand for just a time as this. Not only does the lemon jello add that classic tang, lemon zip and some extra sweetness, it also keeps the fruit from turning brown while waiting to be served ((YAY)).
Combine a small box of jello and the juice of one lemon. This will make just the right amount of dressing for this fruit salad. I always add the lemon zest too – I can’t stand to waste this flavor packed part of citrus.
A little side note, this recipe also works great with apples, plums, bananas, grapes, melons & berries in infinite combinations — so hang on to this idea and make it your own!
In addition to the lemon jello, juice & zest, I like to add some of my home grown orange mint to the salad. You may have noticed, I like to add green any chance I get & this is the perfect opportunity.
The chiffonade of mint adds just the right amount of freshness, both in appearance and flavor.
Give it all a good ((but gentle toss)) and either serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 hour before serving.
- 5 to 6 perfectly ripe, medium nectarines (washed)
- 1 lemon, (washed) juiced and zested
- 1 small box of lemon jello
- 12 (or so) fresh mint leaves, cut in a chiffonade style
- Dice nectarines in approximate 1" chunks*. In a medium bowl combine jello, lemon juice & zest, stirring to dissolve the jello. Add the nectarines and chiffonade of mint to the bowl of lemon juice and jello. Lightly toss to coat and serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until ready to serve.
- *I like to slice the 4 "cheeks" off of the nectarine and just ignore the stone altogether.