Father’s Day Fruit Salad

“One heart for you and one heart for me…no seeds!”

My grandfather, Claude Belles, raised 10-acres of watermelons every year on incessantly thirsty ground in Hermiston, Oregon during the early 1950s. He was a man of few words who never raised his voice, but the communication between him and I was loud and clear in regard to our mutual love of watermelon.

Every hot afternoon he’d pick a prime melon from the field for us to share in the shade on the front lawn. It would make a familiar hollow “thud” when he placed it on the green grass between us.

Expertly he slid the tip of his large razor-edged garden knife into the lush watermelon. “It’s perfect!” he’d say in his usual deep serious voice. We’d burst into laughter, validating his success as a melon farmer. Then, he’d carve the sweet fleshy heart from each half.

Just before taking our first glorious bite Grandpa would flash me a quick wink and say, “One heart for you and one heart for me…no seeds!”

Father’s Day Fruit Salad

4 kiwi fruit
1 mango
3-4 cups watermelon
3-4 cups honeydew
3-4 cups cantaloupe
2 nectarines
1 cup cherries, pitted
1 cup strawberries, halved or whole fresh blueberries
1 Bermuda onion, chopped fine
½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped or shredded
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, fresh squeezed
2 cups green salsa, which is also called salsa verde

With the exception of the melons listed above use any fruits for this salad that are either your favorites or what’s available and looking its best. Bananas are not recommended as they are too soft. The mixture of fresh fruit should total approximately 16 cups.

Wash and de-seed all fruit. Slice fruit (fairly large pieces) into a large mixing bowl allowing the fruit to remain in layers; add onion and cilantro. Sprinkle with lime juice and finish with salsa verde. Do not toss, and leave the salad in layers; cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Toss just before serving. Yield: 8-2 cup servings.

To make fruit salsa: Use same fruit choices as for salad. Chop fruits and onion fine; add cilantro, lemon and green salsa. Mix all ingredients together (do not leave in layers as for salad) cover and refrigerate overnight allowing salsa to “mush-up” and flavors to meld. Serve with tortilla chips.

Original recipe comes from the kitchen of Trish Sells, Renton, WA, who created this recipe as a fruit salsa and Allegra Berrian, Seattle, WA, who uses the same recipe as a fruit salad.

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