Retro salads get a fresh, flavorful glow-up for summer meals

Retro Salads get an upgrade for National Salad Month, photo provided by Dole
Retro Salads get an upgrade for National Salad Month, photo provided by Dole /

While some kids might have grown up singing that a fruit salad is yummy, yummy, the retro salads might have lost some of its vibrancy. Nostalgic recipes might be having a moment, but the flavors should never be stale. With a little help from Dole, all the fresh flavors will feel a touch familiar yet totally invigorating.

Summer and fruit salads often go hand in hand. From the simple combination of various berries to bold flavors thrown into the mix, the possible interpretations are many. Whether cooks pick based on a favorite fruit, what is in season, or just trying something new, every dinner could have a different choice.

Retro salads are having a moment because it can be fun to transform the traditional into a more exciting food option. From switching ingredients to bringing big flavor to the bowl, the options are many.

retro salads get an upgrade for National Salad Month
Retro Salads get an upgrade for National Salad Month, photo provided by Dole /

One retro salad that can be controversial on the table is ambrosia. Often sweet, and maybe a favorite Aunt’s favorite, ambrosia can sometimes feel more like a dessert than a bowl full of healthy eating.

In the new version from Dole, Tropical Ambrosia Salad, the marshmallows are left out and a Greek yogurt is used. While there is still sweetness from the honey and vanilla, it is not necessarily a spoonful of sugar. Also, in this version, it has a tropical slant with an abundance of tropical fruits like mango and papaya.

If bold, global flavors have sparked an interest. Dole has a few more globally focused options to try. The Thai Fruit Salad brings together some favorite fruits like watermelon and banana with fresh herbs and bright limes. For a touch of texture, dry roasted peanuts can be added. This recipe shows how a typical fruit salad can be transformed in simple ways.

One of the biggest flavor boosts for a fruit salad is grilled fruit. That touch of caramelization adds a depth of flavor. In the Blazing Fruit Salad recipe, it explains the methodology. While it is not necessarily complex, it is best to use care when putting the fruit on the grates.

While this particular recipe does not use spice, it can be modified to use a sprinkling of flavor. For example, tajin on mango or pineapple is delightful. Even a little seasoned salt, cinnamon, or almost anything could be used. But, consideration should be made to the other ingredients in the bowl. Competing flavors are never a good idea.

Overall, a fruit salad does not have to be just fruit in a bowl. It can take on a variety of flavor and textures. Healthy eating is never boring as long as cooks add a little creativity into the mix.