Why It Works
- A mix of fresh and dried fruit provides a variety of textures.
- Maple syrup adds a unifying element of earthy sweetness.
- A touch of bacon fat or butter creates a sense of hearty richness.
Mediocre ingredients and an overabundance of tart flavors give the dish a bad name, but with a few simple guidelines, you can start knocking fruit salad out of the park. So consider this recipe a template rather than a set of hard and fast rules. Plums can be replaced with other types of juicy, tender fruits (like peaches or pears), while ripe figs or mango could stand in for creamy bananas and dried cherries can fill in for dates. Once you start thinking about each ingredient's role, it's easy to adapt to whatever you have on hand.
- 2 small Italian plums (about 8 ounces; 225g)
- 1 ripe banana (about 6 ounces; 170g)
- 3 ounces Medjool dates (1/4 cup; 85g)
- 2 ounces toasted pecan pieces (1/2 cup; 55g)
- 1 ounce maple syrup (2 tablespoons; 28g)
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, minced
- 1/2 ounce bacon drippings or brown butter (1 tablespoon; 14g)
Halve plums, remove pits, and dice into 1/4-inch pieces. Peel and slice banana into 1/4-inch rounds. Halve dates, remove pits, and slice into narrow strips. Toss fruit together with pecan pieces, maple syrup, tarragon, and bacon drippings or butter in a medium bowl. Serve immediately, spooned over yogurt, waffles, or oatmeal. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 24 hours in an airtight container.