Updated: Jun 21, 2019
It's almost summer! Nothing better than enjoying summer Hawaiian style!
It's kind of hilarious to me that I am putting out a fruit salad recipe because I always make fun of how many fruit salad recipes are out there in the internet food realm. I almost feel like it is a food bloggers easy " I need to fulfill my recipe quota for the week and hey, its summer, how about a fruit salad!" save. I mean, when we have a BBQ don't we always dole out the fruit salad job to the obvious "not so much a cook" cousin?
And now it seems popular to drench your fruit salad with some sort of dairy heavy whipped cream or pudding dressing. Come on people? Why?
With fruit salad you really want the flavors of the fruit to shine through and the dressing in my opinion supposed to be light and refreshing and only serve to enhance the flavor of the fruit, not overpower it! Besides, why ruin the healthiness of the fruit by saturating it with acid causing dairy. No thanks!
I just recently got back from Maui and I love how you always have such variety available to you while your there! Obviously I did not transport all this fruit home from Maui, especially to Washington because we have much stricter agricultural laws here! (boo...)
Luckily, tropical fruits have become easier to find in your local store and some of these fruits are pretty common even here. I have found that Asian markets usually have a better variety too. Dragon fruit is becoming more common in the states right now. I personally don't understand this because I believe they taste like nothing, they have no flavor. I used dragon fruit though because since it has little flavor it will soak up the dressing flavor nicely; and they are just so pretty to look at!
Rambutan on the other hand are just delicious little fruits and you can usually find them at your Asian markets for not very much. On the outside they look like something you wouldn't want to step on when your out snorkeling but the inside is this white flesh comes out of the shell really easily and has a creamy sweet texture. They are a great fruit snack!
I knew I wanted to use Passion fruit (aka Lilikoi) for the dressing because it is my absolute favorite fruit!!! The first time I tried passion fruit was when I was in Maui and my mom and I were driving on the road to Hana. We stopped by a fruit stand and I remember picking one and and asking, "what is this?" The guy at the stand told me the name and let me try one. All that is inside is this gel with little black seeds but for some reason the flavor just got to me and now every time I go to Hawaii I stock up and eat them like mad!!
Unfortunately, they are kind of hard to find here in the states. That is why I used a passion fruit nectar that I found here in Seattle at one of the Asian markets. But it still worked great!
For me, a fruit salad must have a great citrus component in the dressing because if you are cutting up a bunch of sweet fruit and then adding a sweet dressing you need something that makes the sugar a little more manageable. Otherwise the salad just taste like a bowl of sweet! (yuck)
I added lots of fresh lime juice to this dressing along with a few drops of doTERRA lime essential oil. The lime essential oil has more of the citrus notes from the rind so combined with the fresh lime juice it really adds a great lime punch to the dressing. So refreshing!
This is a great recipe for a Luau party or just any summer BBQ. Next time, make this salad and you will add a little taste of Hawaii to any party or gathering you attend! (Just don't give the responsibility to the "no so much a cook" cousin, you want this one done right.)
TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD WITH PASSION FRUIT LIME DRESSING
Serves 8-10 as side dish
One small fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
2 cups blueberries
3 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced into half moons
2 mangoes, peeled and cubed
1 dragonfruit, peeled and sliced (I used a melon baller)
10 to 15 rambutan, shelled and cut in half
1 small papaya, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup mint, minced or julienned
Optional: fresh coconut flakes
PASSION FRUIT LIME SAUCE
1 (11.5oz) can of passion fruit juice (see Recipe Notes)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup sugar
7 drops doTERRA lime essential oil*
Zest from limes
Placed prepared and cut fruit into a large serving bowl. To start out add about 1/3 cup of the passion fruit lime sauce and gently toss. Slowly incorporate a few more tablespoons until you get the desired flavor. You don't want to overpower the fruit! Sprinkle with mint and coconut flakes and gently give another toss. Easy! Serve immediately (see Recipe Notes)
PASSION FRUIT LIME SAUCE
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lilikoi juice, lime juice and sugar to a boil. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Once done, take the simple syrup off the heat and stir in the drops of lime essential oil and the lime zest. (see Recipe Notes) Let the sauce cool completely.
This recipe is so versatile, make sure you add whatever fruit floats your boat or add something new like star fruit!
Most of the fruits and the passion fruit juice can be easily found in any local Asian market.
If you are not going to serve this immediately maybe cut up fruits, cover and stick in the fruit. Add the sauce just before you plan on serving or driving it to the BBQ. Just so it stays looking pretty and fresh!
The lime zest needs to be added after the lime juice. So try and zest the limes into a small bowl before you cut them up and juice them. Just makes it easier to get the zest later!
*You do not have to use doTERRA essential oils, or any for that matter, but if you do makes sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption.