You may have noticed that I've been on butter/sugar/flour overload here recently. Obviously I haven't only been eating cookie-stuffed-cookies and sugary Middle Eastern pastries, but I've been craving fresh fruits and vegetables like mad for the last couple of days. I think my kitchen asked my body to give me a hint.
Ginger is my new favorite thing. It's another addition to my long and ever-growing list of Things I Used to Hate and Now I Love (some of the more ridiculous items on that list are butter, puppies, and basil. I know.). After I came across the recipe for this Ginger Mint Fruit Salad, I was out the door and on my way to the store for the ingredients less than 5 minutes later.
This recipe is great for a few reasons. Besides its obvious freshness and versatility (use any kind of fruit you'd like), it's really easy to make, as long as you're able to set aside a few hours for the syrup to chill. The mint lends a surprising sophistication to it. I know that sounds silly, but I sure as hell wasn't hip enough to think of adding mint to a fruit salad before Epicurious recommended it.
And perhaps the best thing about this recipe is the surplus of ginger syrup. The salad only calls for a fraction of the syrup that you wind up making. So you get to keep this extra deliciousness in your fridge and use it to sweeten your tea, pour over your ice cream, moisten your cakes, splash into your sparkling water (my personal favorite), or anything else your imagination comes up with. You could also halve (or even quarter) the syrup recipe, but what fun would that be?
Ginger Mint Fruit Salad
Adapted from Gourmet
For ginger syrup
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger (1/2 lb; from a 10-inch piece), left unpeeled
For fruit salad
4 cups (1-inch pieces) fruit (such as mixed berries, melons, peaches, and/or nectarines)
3 tablespoons small mint leaves
1. Bring water, sugar, and ginger to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Pour ginger syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding ginger.
2. Chill, covered, at least 2 hours.
3. Toss fruit and mint with 1/4 cup syrup, or to taste. Extra syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.