Kitchn Love Letters

The One Thing Most Fruit Salads Are Missing (It Makes a Huge Difference!)

published Jun 20, 2024
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Fresh berries with pineapple chunks and halved strawberries, garnished with mint leaves, in a bowl
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I always knew fruit salad could be so much more delicious than the bland bowls of tough and tasteless melon — the fruit I disdainfully refer to as filler fruit — served up as a side dish. So when I found this recipe, I knew I had found my go-to summer fruit salad. Sweet, fresh pineapple cubes, strawberries, and plump blueberries are all you need to serve a colorful and refreshing fruit salad at your next summer cookout. When the fruit is this fresh, juicy, and sweet, every spoonful is inherently delicious — but this recipe takes it to another level with a spiced simple syrup that brings it all together. 

Get the recipe: Berry Pineapple Fruit Salad

Why I Love Berry Pineapple Fruit Salad 

Standard fruit salads made with an uninspired medley of fruits don’t feel special or particularly fresh. Instead of springing for a large variety of fruit, this recipe relies on just three types of fruit: pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries. The different colors, flavors, and textures of these three fruits ensure that every bite is a winner. Plus, these fruits are readily available (and are often on sale during the summer months). 

What takes this fruit salad over the top is the ginger-cinnamon simple syrup. In-season fruit is already sweet, so adding simple syrup may sound unnecessary. Let me tell you: It is decidedly not. This sweet dressing brings the salad together so that it feels like a unified dish and not a disparate dish of different fruits. The simple syrup is made by steeping fresh ginger and ground cinnamon in sugar water. This syrup can be made a few days in advance and added to taste (depending on the sweetness of the fruit) just before serving. If there’s extra syrup leftover add it to sparkling water, cocktails, or iced tea

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Make Berry Pineapple Fruit Salad 

  1. Make the simple syrup. Simmer water, granulated sugar, fresh ginger, and ground cinnamon until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to allow the simple syrup to steep for 20 minutes. 
  2. Prep the fruit. Peel, core, and dice a ripe pineapple. Hull and halve strawberries. Toss the pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries together in a large bowl.
  3. Add spiced simple syrup. Remove the ginger from the syrup and pour over the fruit. Toss to coat, refrigerate until chilled, and serve.