Autumn fruit is lively and bright: crisp apples, pears that positively drip with nectar and crunchy pomegranates that burst with juice. They partner beautifully with Fuyu persimmons and hazelnuts, too, for this Autumn Fruit Salad. A light vinaigrette of kombucha, hazelnut oil, ginger and maple syrup dresses the salad .
When autumn tables are filled with pies, tarts, and harvest cakes, an autumn fruit salad offers a nice alternative. The salad is still sweet, and still festive, but it provides that lightened up note so needed when kitchens brim over with heavy winter vegetables like squash, potatoes and beets, roasts and sweets.
Making an Autumn Fruit Salad
To make an autumn fruit salad, pick the freshest fruit you can find. In addition to apples, pears, persimmons and pomegranates, you can also add other autumn fruits like cranberries, figs or concord grapes. Slicing the fruit thinly not only makes for a beautiful presentation, but it also makes the salad easier to eat – and your guests can get a bite of everything in the salad on a single fork.
A vinaigrette fulfills to functions when making this Autumn Fruit Salad. Apples, pears and other pomaceous fruit are prone to browning when they’re exposed to the air; however, acids prevent them from browning. In this fruit salad, we pair kombucha tea – which is highly acidic and similar in flavor to apple cider vinegar – with roasted hazelnut oil, maple syrup and ginger to make the vinaigrette. The acidity in the kombucha helps to prevent the apples and pears in this salad from browning. Its tartness also acts as a foil for the fruit’s natural sweetness.
What Makes an Autumn Fruit Salad So Good for You
Apples and pears which make the base of this salad are particularly high in quercetin, an antioxidant that is highly anti-inflammatory and that can even act as an antihistamine. Similarly, persimmon is particularly high in powerful antioxidants as well, like beta carotene and vitamin C, while pomegranate arils are a good source of potassium and a very good source of various other nutrients like punicalagins. Punicalagins are powerful antioxdants which may account for why pomegranate has such a higher antioxidant activity – even higher than red wine and green tea.
Together these, nutrient-rich foods, pair with hazelnuts and hazelnut oil which are high in a nutrient that can be relatively difficult to get through food sources: Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to support cardiac health and helps to prevent damage to tissues from free radicals. Lastly, the kombucha tea used in this Autumn Fruit Salad’s vinaigrette is rich in beneficial bacteria that help to support gut health and immune system function.
Autumn Fruit Salad
For the Salad
- 2 pears
- 2 apples
- 1 Fuyu persimmon
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
For the Kombucha Ginger Vinaigrette
- Core the apples and pears. Then slice the pears, apples and persimmon no thicker than ⅛ inch, using a mandoline (like this one) or very sharp knife.
- Layer the pears, apples and persimmons on a serving dish, and scatter the pomegranate arils, chopped hazelnuts and fresh mint over them.
- Whisk the kombucha, maple syrup, ginger and roasted hazelnut oil together, then drizzle the vinaigrette over the fruit, and serve immediately.
What to Serve with an Autumn Fruit Salad
If you’d like to add this salad to your menu, there’s a few ways you can add it to the table. You can pair it with holiday favorites for a light addition to the table, and it also pairs beautifully with light soups for an easy lunch.
Fruit salad also pairs well with this Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal that comes together in only 6 minutes.