I love to make this dragon fruit summer salad for picnics and potlucks for the Memorial Day or 4th of July holidays because of the fruit salad’s red, white, and blue appearance. Or you can enjoy this dragon fruit salad anytime these fruits are in season between June through November for a refreshing and healthy dessert or snack.
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What is Dragon Fruit?
The first time I saw or tasted dragon fruit was in Hong Kong, I noticed that the fruit salad had something that’s white colored flesh with little black seeds in them. It tasted like a watermelon that is mildly sweet. I asked a server and learned that the fruit is called dragon fruit, a type of tropical fruit, and very healthy because it is low in calories, high in fiber, and other nutrients.
A dragon fruit, also called pitiya, has a bright magenta colored thick skin with white flesh inside. There is another variety that has a similar appearance outside but has purple flesh inside. My favorite variety is the yellow dragon fruit, which is yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Yellow dragon fruit has the sweetest flavor.
Dragon fruit season begins in June, peaks between August through September and usually available until October-November. It’s important to know how to pick them since dragon fruit can be pricey. Look for the following characteristics:
- The fruit feels heavy for the size and the skin feels smooth.
- Look for vibrant color and fresh tips and edges.
- Yellow dragon fruit should have a little bit of green around the edges. They shouldn’t look brown or black at all.
- Avoid any black or soft spots, blemishes, or mold, check the ends especially.
How to Cut and Arrange the Fruit Salad
In order to make a celebratory and patriotic looking red, white, and blue fruit salad I picked some of my favorite summer fruits for the fruit salad. Blueberries are my favorite blue fruit. I like cutting strawberries in half so that they look like hearts. I use one dragon fruit (magenta with white flesh). But altogether these three fruits can range in taste between sour to mildly sweet at best. I like to bulk up the fruit salad and add some sweetness by adding some watermelon.
You will need a large serving platter or bowl. I recommend wearing food prep gloves or using a bench scraper to handle the cut fruit.
- Watermelon: Cut the watermelon into bite sized pieces and arrange them in a single layer as a base layer. Scatter another layer (about 50%) to leave room for the other fruits. Depending on the size of the watermelon you buy, you will most likely use 1/4 to 1/2 of the watermelon.
- Strawberry hearts: Use a paring knife to core the stem and strawberry leaves. Then cut the strawberry in half lengthwise so that you end up with heart-shaped strawberry halves. Arrange around the perimeter of the serving platter and scatter the remainder on top of the watermelon.
- Dragon Fruit: Cut the dragon fruit into quarters lengthwise and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into bite sized cubes. Scatter over the watermelon and strawberries.
- Blueberries: Scatter a few handfuls of blueberries around the platter, give the platter a gentle shake to make the fruit settle down. Add more blueberries as needed but without completely covering the other fruits.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
What to do with Leftover Fruits?
This recipe is enough for 6 people. Even though I used a medium sized bowl, I mounded the fruit on top to make it all fit. You will most likely have extra watermelon which you can serve in a separate bowl.
If you have some leftover fruit salad, you can store it overnight in the refrigerator. Or freeze the dragon fruit salad in a large freezer bag. If you spread the pieces out into an even layer, it will be easier to take out what you need to add to a smoothie.
Allergy Aware Dragon Fruit Salad
This dragon fruit salad is free of the top 9 allergens as written. If allergic to any of the ingredients, f be creative to substitute with something else that you can eat. If you are looking for other top 8 or 9 allergen foods that are great for serving at a party, consider some of these recipes:
- Instant Pot Kalua Pork with Cabbage, Top 8 Free
- Slow Cooker Kalua Pork with Bacon and Cabbage Recipe, Top 8 Free
- Baak Tong Gou, a Top 9 Allergen Free Chinese Dessert
- Top 8 Allergen Free Gluten Free Scallion Pancakes
- Easy Top 8 Allergen Free Banana Rolls Recipe
Dragon Fruit Salad with Watermelon, Strawberries, and Blueberries
Make this beautiful red, white, and blue fruit salad for your next summer picnic, BBQ, or Memorial Day/4th of July holiday party. Most of these fruits are at their peak sweetness and freshness between June through August, so be sure to enjoy!
- ¼ watermelon chopped (approximately 4 cups)
- 1 pound strawberries
- 1 dragon fruit
- 1 pint blueberries
Arrange approximately 3 cups of chopped watermelon in a single layer in a large serving dish. Scatter the remaining watermelon on top.
Use a paring knife to remove the strawberry stem and leaves. Cut the strawberries in half so that they look like hearts. Arrange most of it around the perimeter of the serving dish on top of the watermelon so that the dish is rimmed with strawberry hearts. Scatter the remaining strawberry halves on top of the watermelon.
Cut the dragon fruit in half lengthwise and then cut again into quarters lengthwise. Hold the peel on both ends and remove the peel, chop the white flesh into bite sized cubes. Scatter on top of the watermelon and strawberries.
Carefully scatter half of the blueberries over the top of the fruit salad, give the serving dish a gentle shake, and add the remaining blueberries as space allows.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight box and enjoy within 24 hours or freeze for smoothies.
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