Fruit salad, best known here as macedonia, is a dish that can never miss at the end of any traditional Italian family meal. The origin of the name is not certain, but it probably refers to the region of the Balkans with the same name. What is sure, is that it’s a dish beloved by adults and kids alike.
There are no strict rules about how to make an Italian fruit salad. The only principles to follow are to use the ripest and freshest fruit you can find and to keep a good balance between different ingredients. The best idea actually, would be to check your local farmer’s market to get the best seasonal products.
For this reason, Italian fruit salad ingredients usually vary according with the time of the year. In winter, for instance, it’s quite common to add citruses to the mix, whereas in summer, berries, melon and peaches are favored. Whichever fruits you choose to use, what brings everything together is the sweet and citrusy sauce made with freshly squeezed lemon and a small amount of sugar, which is traditional or you can drizzle on some honey.
This is an early spring version made with grapes, kiwi fruit, apple, banana and strawberries, one of the most classical versions. It’s a refreshing and light mix of fruit, full of color and vitamins, that you can serve at home in place of dessert. Here in Italy, kids usually like to top their fruit salad with a spoonful of gelato, whereas most adults prefer to add a small amount of liquor instead, usually Prosecco or Limoncello.
Fruit salad is best eaten right away, but you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. Most Italian homecooks like to make it in abundance for dinner and eat it also for breakfast the next day. The only thing to keep in mind if you decide to prepare it in advance is not to use bananas as they don’t last long once peeled.
1.5tbspsugar (traditional) or honey (either is optional)
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and sugar or honey. Whisk everything together until everything is dissolved.
Wash the fruit and pat it dry. Cut everything into bite sized pieces, leaving apple, pear and banana for last to avoid oxidation. If you want, you can peel the apple and the pear, but it’s not necessary.
Combine the fruit in a large bowl together with a few fresh mint leaves.
Pour dressing over the fruit and stir gently to coat evenly.