Simple Watermelon and Berry Salad has watermelon, kiwis, blueberries, and a sweet and salty honey basil dressing. This fruit salad is always popular at buffets and potlucks!
One of the first side dishes I think of when planning a buffet or get-together is a fruit salad or fruit bowl. This Watermelon and Berry Salad has a sweet and salty herbal dressing that takes the fruit from refreshing and sweet to refreshing and sophisticated.
To keep the fruit brilliant in color I prefer to pour the dressing onto the fruit just before serving or to serve it on the side in a cruet.
This way the stunning colors of the watermelon and berries stay brilliant and guests can use as much or as little of the dressing as they like.
With only 30 minutes of prep time, a watermelon, blueberry, and kiwi fruit salad is an easy choice when planning an eye-catching side dish for a picnic, barbecue, or spontaneous party. Have I convinced you? Great! So, Let's Cook!
What Goes in This Fruit Salad?
The fruits used in this salad are all fresh:
- Watermelon - I buy cut watermelon since I don't need a whole one and it lets me see the quality of the melon. Choose deep red watermelon that does not look dry.
- Kiwis - Kiwis that are soft but not too ripe are best for fruit salads so that the don't break up when the salad is stirred and scooped.
- Blueberries - Choose full round berries with rich dark color for the beste taste.
The dressing ingredients are:
- Fresh Basil Leaves - Fresh basil gives the herbal notes to the dressing. If you can't get fresh basil you can omit it. Do not substitute dried basil. It will not have the same fresh flavor.
- Orange Blossom Honey - Orange blossom honey will give soft orange flower notes to the dressing.
- Limes - Fresh lime juice is best. Do not substitute bottled lime juice. It does not taste the same as fresh.
- Safflower Oil - I generally use safflower oil for its neutral flavor and nutritional content of being rich in polyunsaturated fats. You can use any neutral flavored oil though.
- Salt - Sweet always benefits from a small amount of salt to add flavor.
How to Make This Fruit Salad
PREPARE THE FRUIT - Prepping the fruit is very simple. All you need is a good knife and a vegetable peeler. I start with cutting the watermelon into bite-sized chunks of about ¾".
Next, I peel the kiwis with a vegetable peeler and slice them about ⅓" thick and cut each slice into quarters. The blueberries just need a quick rinse of water and gentle drying on a paper towel.
The fruit is then ready to be placed in a large bowl or on a serving platter.
MAKE THE DRESSING - I use fresh limes and usually, 2 limes are enough to make ¼ cup of lime juice. I just cut the limes in half and squeeze them by hand.
Put the safflower oil, lime juice, orange blossom honey, salt, and chopped basil in a salad dressing blender (or a small food processor) and pulse the dressing until it is well mixed and emulsified.
ASSEMBLE THE SALAD - Gently layer and combine all of the fruit in a large serving bowl or place the fruit onto a large platter. Set the cruet of Honey Basil Dressing near the platter.
My Top Tips
Keep The Fruit Brillant! - Serving the dressing on the side is key to keeping your fruit gorgeous and brilliant in color.
Get More Juice From Limes - If you have trouble juicing the limes you can put them in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to get every bit of juice from the limes. Rolling the limes on a hard surface will also soften the pulp and make squeezing them easier.
Layer the Fruit - Layer the fruit gently onto a platter or into a bowl. I use the order of watermelon, kiwi, and then the berries for each layer. This keeps the more delicate berries from being broken and makes a beautiful display of the fruit salad.
Substitutions & Variations
Substitute Blackberries - I really like blackberries and have often substituted them for blueberries. Blackberries are a little sweeter and less delicate than blueberries, so they work well in this recipe.
Add Mint - Mint is another great choice for adding an herbal note to the dressing. you like mint add 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Even if you love mint, fresh mint leaves can overpower a dish, so a little goes a long way.
Substitute Your Favorite Fruits - We live in a time when the fruit in this recipe is available almost always year-round. But, if you can't find any of the fruits in this recipe, feel free to substitute any ripe gorgeous fruit for the ones listed here.
If you decide to use peeled and sliced bananas, be sure to add them just before serving to keep them from turning dark.
This beautiful Watermelon and Berry Salad is so easy to make and will bring a refreshing taste and a pop of color to your table!
Here Are More Great Salads You Might Like
Watermelon and Berry Salad
- 3 Pounds Ripe Watermelon, Cut in Bite Sized Cubes
- 4 Each Kiwi, Peeled, Sliced, and Quartered
- 8 Ounces Blueberries
Honey Basil Dressing
- ⅔ Cup Safflower Oil
- ¼ Cup Lime Juice, Freshly Squeezed
- ¼ Cup Orange Blossom Honey
- 1 ¼ Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Finely Chopped
Prepare the Fruit
- Cut the watermelon into bite-sized cubes. Peel the kiwi and slice them ⅓" thick and then quarter each slice. Wash the blueberries and drain well.
Honey Basil Dressing
- Put oil, lime juice, orange blossom honey, salt, and finely chopped basil into a small food processor. Pulse processor until all of the ingredients are well combined. Pour the dressing into a cruet and set it aside.
Assemble the Salad
- Gently combine all of the fruit in a large serving bowl or place the fruit onto a large platter. Pour the dressing over the fruit.Alternatively, set the cruet of Honey Basil Dressing near the platter, so each guest can add the dressing to their portion to their liking.
Nutrition Per Serving
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.