I like to imagine myself going berry-picking and coming home with baskets full of ripe, gorgeous strawberries, blackberries and blueberries that smell so good, you can’t keep your hands off them all the way home. Fruit still warm from the sun, like the wide, flat cut-off cardboard boxes full of strawberries that our neighbors used to bring over when I was a kid.
But we haven’t had a great berry season. Flooding and berries just don’t go together. And, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this at your grocery, but berries are expensive. Especially if you’re the only one in your house eating them.
So, I started looking for a recipe that was all about the berries – no crust, no crumble, no cobbler – and I found Ina Garten’s Fruit Salad with Limoncello.
If you’ve been longing for an excuse to buy a bottle of this lovely lemony liqueur, let this be it.
The beauty of limoncello is that it tastes lemony but isn’t sour. So, when you combine it with berries and a spoonful of sugar, the limoncello brightens the flavor of the berries without adding a bitter aftertaste.
(It also makes a mean martini. Just don’t pull a Danny Devito and show up drunk on “The View.”)
There’s nothing wrong with a bowl full of berries, but Ina’s fruit salad comes with a lemon yogurt topping that is absolutely worth the very minimal effort. Greek yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla. It’s a topping you can feel good about, and with just a whisk or two, it’s ready.
To keep this recipe budget-friendly, substitute any of the berries for whatever is on sale in your area. Or, use frozen berries. Just be sure to thaw and drain them first.
I’m thinking these berries would look mighty fine on a nice hunk of angel food or pound cake topped with whipped cream for the Fourth of July. Or maybe just spooned over a few scoops of homemade ice cream.
I’ve got the berries. You bring the sparklers.
Fruit Salad with Limoncello
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics”
- 7 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt (recommended: Fage Total)
- 1/3 cup lemon curd
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint)
- 1 cup raspberries (1/2 pint)
- 1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
- 1 banana, sliced
- Garnish: fresh mint springs
- For the Lemon Yogurt Topping: Whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature.
- For the Fruit Salad: Carefully toss together the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar and limoncello. Allow them to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let the berries macerate with the sugar and liqueur. Gently fold the banana into the mixture.
- Serve bowls of fruit with a dollop of lemon yogurt on top. Top each with a sprig of fresh mint.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving) – calories: 166, fat: 1g, carbs: 31.5g, fiber: 3.7g, protein: 4.5g, PP+ = 4