Gorgeous Seasonal Fruit Platter
Every summer when he shows up for our big family gathering in Lake Tahoe over the Fourth of July, my brother-in-law, Dale, packs the back of his Jeep with enough fresh fruit to fuel a small summer camp: flats of peaches and berries, and mangoes by the case. Each year, without fail, my father, who has a mortal aversion to excess, greets this generous haul with the words, “we’ll never eat all that fruit!” And each year, indeed we do. In part because Dale procures his gorgeous goods from Earl’s Organic Produce at the SF produce mart and in part because each morning he rises at dawn to slice, dice, and present a fruit buffet that even a carnivore couldn’t turn down.
It’s a reminder to me that when handled with care, the appeal of fresh fruit is undeniable. Case in point was a recent meal out with the kids during which we were served four different fruits piled high on a bed of crushed ice. It was so beautiful, we polished it off in no time and not one of us thought, “we’re only having fruit for dessert?” Now, here’s how you can do it at home:
- Gather up 2 to 3 (or more) fresh, seasonal fruits (the farmers’ market is excellent for this). In summer, you might include assorted berries, peaches, and watermelon. In fall, pears, apples, figs, and pomegranate are in season. Winter is for celebrating the abundance of citrus fruits. And spring is all about strawberries.
- Pull out your prettiest platter. Choose one big enough to fit everything but not so big that your fruit looks spare. A cake stand can work well for this, too.
- Cover it with crushed ice if you want to keep it good and cold. Skip it if this step is too fussy.
- Cut the fruit with care so it’s pretty and easy to eat. Pit stone fruits, peel kiwis, peel tangerines, and snip large bunches of grapes into small bundles.
- Pile it over the ice or directly onto the platter.
- Set it in the center of your dining room table and see what happens.
Maybe someone will say, “we’ll never eat all that fruit!”
But I bet you do.