Where I come from a fruit salad is fresh fruit cut up and mixed in a bowl with some colorful berries. When I moved west I had to plan a buffet so I decided to carve a watermelon and asked some of my volunteers to make fruit salad so I could continue filling the watermelon basket with fruit throughout the evening. Well, I got everything but what I thought! I got jello molds, towering quivering things with berries and cool whip all over them; I got a berry and mayonaise and brown sugar concoction, and absolutely nothing I could fill my watermelon with. One of the gals said I should have asked for fresh fruit cut up and on a plate. duh. Now I know. Honestly, I never saw such amazing creations. They were all eaten up and once the watermelon balls were gone I just tossed my carved melon. Wah....
- Wash and dry all the fruit.
- With a large veggie peeler/melon carver cut the top third of the watermelon off making a decorative edge of either scallops or peaks. (I wish I had premium so I could post pix). When I was a kid I drew my decorative edge on the melon and carved it with a boning knife but it is faster and easier if you get a tool designed for carving. Scoop the melon out with a small cookie scoop and set aside.
- Cut the cantaloupe into 8ths and cut the rind off. With the french fry blade of your food processor, shred the cantaloupe and set aside. I learned this from Greg Patton host of Pattonly Cooking sponsored by Cuisinart.
- Cut the honeydew in half and seed it. With a melon baller make itty bitty balls and set aside. You can cheat and slice this in your food processer on the thickest blade.
- Cut the pineapple into 8ths and core it. Cut into chunks and set aside.
- Mix melons and pineapples together in a large bowl.
- Quarter the strawberries and mix with the remaining berries and grapes. Do not mix in the raspberries or they will be pulverized.
- Layer the fruits in the watermelon basket, first a layer of the melons and pineapple, then the berries then some raspberries. Save most of the raspberries for the top layer. Continue layering until your melon basket is full and save the remaining fruit in a baggie so you can re-fill the melon basket.
- That's all there is to it! You can carve handles on your basket or leave it open which works better on a buffet as it is easier to access the fruit.
- To make it extra fancy whip up an egg white and dip clusters of grapes in it, then roll in superfine sugar and let dry on waxed paper. Secure the little grape clusters in the edging of the melon basket with a toothpick. I did this for my mother once when she had her lady friends over and it really wowed them as a centerpiece.
- Hope you try this! Have fun doing it with your kids.