It’s July 4th weekend. That means lots of cookouts, parties and barbecues and lots of eating, hanging out with friends and family and fun. The last thing you want to do is cook in the hot kitchen while everyone else is out having fun in the sun. As long as your cooking everything outside you want your desserts to be just as easy for you to put together. Sure you can make or buy some pies, get some ice cream (or make your own) or have a big batch of cookies, but one of my favorite things to do when the weather is warm like this is to make a nice fruit salad. There are so many great fruits that you can use that are in season right now that you can get the chance to put something really great together. If you really want to wow everyone this year, skip the fruit cocktail in a can or jar or the prepackaged fruit tray from the grocery store with the unripe melon and do it yourself. As long as you are doing it yourself, have some summer fun and make this great watermelon shark fruit salad too from Tasting Table.
Watermelon Shark Fruit Salad
1 Baby watermelon (about 2-3 pounds)
4 cups watermelon pieces (from the baby watermelon above)
2 cups bite-size mango pieces (2 mangoes)
1 cup melon pieces (cantaloupe, honeydew, casaba, whatever you like)
1 cup sliced kiwi rounds (2 kiwis, peeled)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup red seedless grapes
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
¼ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1½ cups bite-size avocado pieces (2 avocados), optional
½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, optional
⅓ cup toasted and roughly chopped macadamia nuts, optional
Handful of Swedish fish, optional
To make the watermelon shark, take a sharp knife and cut off the wider end of watermelon so it will stand at an angle. Turn the watermelon upright so that it is standing on its base. Draw a half-moon shaped mouth on the watermelon with a marker, beginning at the stem mark as a guideline. Use a sharp paring knife to cut along your outline and remove the watermelon wedge. Save the wedge to use for the fin for the shark. Use a large spoon to scoop out all of the watermelon flesh into a separate bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off about 1-inch of the outer edge of the watermelon skin, exposing the light green flesh underneath. Cut out small triangles in the exposed light green flesh of the watermelon to make the teeth of the shark. Cut a wooden skewer in half and use it to attach the shark fin to the top of the shark. Using toothpicks, take 2 blueberries and attach them to the watermelon for eyes.
To make the fruit salad, in a large serving bowl, combine the watermelon, mango, melon, kiwi, blueberries, grapes and pineapple. Season the fruit with the agave nectar and lime juice, tossing gently to mix. Fold in the avocado pieces, if using. Garnish the salad with the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. If you are serving the fruit salad in the shark’s head, fill the shark’s head with as much fruit as you can. Place the Swedish fish among the fruit pieces, if using, and serve.
Of course you don’t have to use the shark’s head, but hey, it’s a great centerpiece for the table, looks great and the kids love it. It’s really easy to make and Tasting Table has step by step pictures you can follow in their link. I used a baby watermelon but if you feel ambitious you could certainly use a larger one and the same thing and have much more fruit in it. Use any fruit that everyone really likes so you get a good mix of flavors, but don’t forget to use the agave nectar (or honey if you prefer) and lime juice so you get that added flavor to the fruit. The Swedish fish were just a nice touch at the end.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!