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If you are like me and like to read cookbooks, food dictionaries, and the like, I must ask: have you ever checked out The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg? (Many thanks to my sister for giving me my copy!) This book lists every ingredient you can think of (and also seasons, temperatures), and for each entry lists the flavors that go with it. I find it fascinating.
While reading about flavor combinations for tomatoes, I was surprised at the number of fruits that are listed. I know of course that tomatoes are actually fruits. (The 2nd graders I work with love to share this fact with what they hope will be uninformed adults. They learn this truth during the Nutrition unit. As they share it their eyes get wide and voices drop to almost a whisper. Tomatoes. Are actually fruits. Scandalous.) Despite this, I always think of tomatoes as savory.
However, The Flavor Bible lists watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, and oranges as potential partners for tomato!
This got me thinking that tomatoes are therefore logical candidates for fruit salad, and from there this recipe was born.
I kept the fruits to just a few: strawberries, watermelon, and raspberries. Great, summery fruits to pair with sweet and brilliantly-hued cherry tomatoes. The combination does not disappoint!
The slight acidity of the tomatoes nicely complements the sweet strawberries and watermelon. The raspberries are quickly cooked down with a little sugar before they join the party. This gives them a sweet-tartness that ties the salad together. A few fresh spearmint leaves are minced over the salad for a bright, minty bite here and there.I kept the tomatoes whole in this salad because they are bite-sized right off the vine, the yellow spheres look lovely tossed with the chunks of red fruit, and the pleasant pop as you bite into a ripe cherry tomato is a fun contrast the soft fruits.
It’s a little different, but really delicious. This salad is a tasty way to close out the summer bounty of fruits and tomatoes!
Sweet Tomato & Fruit Salad
Cherry tomatoes are the sweet surprise ingredient in this fresh fruit salad that is full of summery sweetness.
- 6 ounces red raspberries, rinsed
- 1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 16- ounces fresh strawberries, washed & air-dried
- 2 cups cubed watermelon (1" cubes)
- 1-1/2 pints small yellow cherry tomatoes, rinsed
- 3-4 leaves of fresh spearmint, rinsed and air dried (plus more for garnish, optional)
Place the raspberries and the sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the raspberries and sugar together over the heat for 3-5 minutes, just until the raspberries break down and begin to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Remove the tops from the strawberries and slice them into small chunks. Place the cut strawberries into a large bowl.
Add the cubed watermelon and the cherry tomatoes to the bowl.
Once the raspberry mixture has cooled, pour it over the fruit and tomatoes in the bowl. Gently toss the fruit and tomatoes until they are coated with raspberry.
Spoon the salad into a large serving bowl or individual serving bowls. Use kitchen shears to snip the spearmint leaves over the top of the fruit salad. Add a few whole leaves as garnish if you wish. Serve it immediately.
Store leftover fruit salad for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Makes about 4 cups.