Brace yourselves for this news: London had a heatwave. The way this summer has been going, I didn’t think it was even possible – but lo and behind, it came, like a beacon of hope to us Vitamin-D-deprived London dwellers.
For me, this heat wave exposed two unavoidable facts that I was forced to address: firstly, that I only own one proper summer dress (how does that even happen?), and secondly, that my fridge was stock piled with foods too heavy for an actual summer.
One mad dash to the grocery store later, and enter in: the fruit salad. I don’t do a lot of baking, and only sometimes cook (Stag is the chef in the family), but I do make a mean fruit salad.
The secret ingredient? An herb-infused sugar syrup. I know, I know, who adds sugar to a perfectly-sweet-and-healthy fruit salad? But trust me when I say, you don’t need a lot of it, just drizzle it on, let it marinate for a little bit and it just brings your fruit salad to a whole new level.
Peaches are luckily in season (my favourite fruit!), and they go perfectly with rosemary. The red berries add a nice tart taste to counterbalance the sweet peaches, all tied together with the delicate herbiness of rosemary.
The secret ingredient to any good fruit salad? An herb-infused sugar syrup.
You can also try basil, thyme — all would taste great with many fruit combinations, including blueberries, blackberries, apricots, figs. The fruit world is your herby oyster.
The recipe I made is here for you below. It makes a good medium-sized bowl, enough for Stag and I to have helpings for a few days. Scale up/down as you see fit.
It really is so easy, I feel like all you readers will roll your eyes that this is the first recipe up on W&S.
Peach, Berry and Rosemary Fruit Salad
Serves 2 – One medium sized bowl
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1/2 a cup of sugar
- 1/2 a cup of water
- 2 ripe peaches, stoned and chopped
- 1 punnet of raspberries, sliced in half (or kept whole if you like chunky salads)
- 1/2 a punnet of strawberries, cut up (as big as you like!)
- Make your sugar syrup: in a small saucepan, mix equal parts sugar and water (in this case, I used 1/2 a cup of water to 1/2 a cup of sugar. Scale this to 1 cup if you want to have some left over for lattes, mojitos or other drinks and desserts!). Add the rosemary sprigs to the pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring all the while, until it begins to boil and the sugar is all dissolved. Remove from the heat; let sit for about 30 minutes before discarding the rosemary sprigs and transferring the mixture into a smaller, sealable container (I tend to use a thermos or measuring cup). If you are extra paranoid, run the syrup through a very-fine sieve, but I tend to not find this necessary. Place in the fridge until it is cold or cools down.
- Once the sugar syrup is ready to use, make your fruit salad: chop up all of your fruit as chunky as you like. Add to a medium-sized bowl and give a good stir to mix up all the fruit.
- Drizzle the sugar syrup over your fruit salad. DON’T just pour the entire sugar syrup over the fruit, as that could make it too sweet for you! Rather, drizzle until it seems coated, and taste test along the way.
- Let the fruit marinate for as long as you can stand before digging in!