Goopy, yogurt-covered fruit salads are decidedly unsexy, particularly after sitting on a picnic table for hours. But a fruit salad doesn’t need yogurt. In fact, if I had to choose one kind of dairy to pair with a bunch of juicy, sweet produce, I would pick cheese.
My dad lived in Washington state when I was a teen, which meant I spent many summers picking cherries and berries with my stepmom and sisters. Most of the fruit would be baked into pies and cobblers, but there was always a post-pick bowl of berries and whipping cream to celebrate the haul.Read more
The “fruit plus cheese” genre of fruit salad is virtually never-ending, simply because fruit and cheese are two great things that go great together, and there are many good fruits and cheeses. These are a few of my favourites combinations, which are basically cheese plates in salad form.
Grapes + pears + Parmigiano
Slice pears into thin, vertical slices, and cut grapes in half. Drizzle with a simple vinaigrette, then top with large shavings of Parmigiano (use a y-peeler instead of a grater). Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle on some fresh herbs (I like thyme and tarragon).
Pineapple + whipped cottage cheese + pistachios
Add a cup of cottage cheese and a teaspoon of olive oil to the bowl of your food processor and blend for a minute, scraping down the sides halfway through. Scoop into a bowl, top with fresh pineapple. Sprinkle on a handful of salted, roasted pistachios (shells removed, obviously), and drizzle the thinnest stream of honey all over the whole thing.
Melon + cotija + lime
If you want to break out from your feta rut, I recommend you turn to cotija. It’s got a funky vibe similar to feta, with a crumbly saltiness reminiscent of parm. Squeeze half a fresh lime over a couple of cups of cubed watermelon or cantaloupe, then crumble as much cheese as you desire on top. Add some chopped mint or chilli salt (depending on the direction you want to go), and grate on some lime zest for extra colour and brightness.
This article has been updated since its original publication.