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Summer Fresh Fruit Salad in a Simple Basil Syrup

Fresh fruit salad with simple syrup
Summer Fresh Fruit Salad in a Simple Basil Syrup

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family. This recipe is part of a series on Essential Summer Picnic Items. To visit the index, click here

Everyone’s glad to see a colorful fruit salad at a picnic. Be sure to buy the freshest and ripest fruit for the best results.

It’s that easy: I like to shop for fruit a few days before I need to serve it. Stone fruit like peaches and nectarines and even melons often benefit from a sit on the kitchen counter for a day or so to fully ripen and become even more fragrant, sweet and delicious.

Fresh Fruit Salad in Basil Syrup

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
Hands on time: 30 minutes
Serves 8 to 10


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves  plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1-lb strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 pints blueberries, blackberries or a combination
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 nectarines, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 cantaloupe or honeydew melon cut into bite-sized chunks


  1. Combine the sugar with 3/4 cup water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove from heat, toss in the bunch of basil and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup and add lime juice and a few ice cubes to cool it down slightly.
  4. While the syrup cools, cut up fruit and toss together in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled syrup and thinly sliced basil. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Transfer to a bowl with a tight fitting lid or zip lock bag for transport.

Make-ahead: Salad can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept covered, refrigerated.

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Fresh Fruit Salad in Basil Syrup


Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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