I tried four celebrity chefs’ recipes for fruit salad to find my new summer staple.
I will definitely make Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay’s recipes again.
Gordon Ramsay’s dressing was delicious, but I didn’t like it on the salad.
Although I love the basic fruit salad, several famous chefs have their own spin that takes the simple dish to the next level.
I decided to taste test four very different fruit salads from Katie Lee Biegel, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, and Gordon Ramsay, which range from spicy to boozy.
Here’s how each version stacked up.
Biegel’s fruit salad calls for rosé.
Almost like a mimosa in fruit-salad form, Biegel’s recipe features an easy dressing made with orange juice, rosé, and honey.
The salad also includes an array of fresh fruit, such as grapefruit, oranges, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries.
This recipe mostly just requires chopping.
Fruit salad is usually a breeze to prepare, and that’s certainly the case with this recipe.
I washed and chopped the strawberries, cut up the orange and grapefruit, then rinsed the grapes and raspberries before adding everything to a container.
In a separate bowl, I whisked the orange juice, sparkling rosé, and honey, then added the dressing to the fruit.
The recipe says to let it all chill for 30 minutes, but I left it in the fridge for an hour since I wanted it to be quite cold.
Before serving, I topped the salad with thin strips of fresh mint.
I didn’t taste much of the dressing.
I expected this recipe to resemble a mimosa, even though it’s called a sangria fruit salad, but it just tasted like plain fruit, which was mostly fine by me.
I hoped to detect more of the dressing, but it was too thin to coat the fruit and didn’t really soak into the pieces.
There are a lot of interesting ingredients in Fieri’s fruit salad.
Fieri’s fruit salad has a long ingredient list that includes toasted almonds, store-bought pound cake, and items to make homemade lemon whipped cream.
In terms of the fruit base, it only calls for bananas, pineapples, and strawberries.
This recipe is the most involved since you have to grill and toast multiple items.
I started by drizzling cubes of pound cake with melted butter and toasting them for 10 minutes. While they were cooking, I made the cream topping in my stand mixer with heavy whipping cream, sugar and lemon zest and juice.
This recipe is also called for grilling the fruit, so I used my stovetop grill pan to cook the pineapples, strawberries, and bananas until they were fragrant and somewhat golden.
I then chopped the strawberries and bananas into bite-sized pieces once they cooled and assembled the salad.
I put a handful of toasted pound-cake cubes at the bottom of the bowl, followed by the grilled fruit, and then a generous dollop of whipped cream, some sliced almonds, and chopped mint.
This was more of a dessert than a fruit salad, but I had no complaints.
The extra work that went into this dish was worth it. It was very sweet but tasted great.
The layers made this a beautiful dessert. And even though the pound cake and whipped cream were the stars of the show, I still love every bite.
I enjoyed how the caramelized flavor of the grilled fruit was paired with the crunchiness of the almonds and toasted pound cake and the freshness of the mint and lemon.
I’d love to make this fruit salad again as an appetizer for guests or a treat for myself.
Flay’s simple fruit salad calls for a ginger-lime syrup.
Flay opts for a tropical take with a wide variety of fruit — like papaya, kiwi, orange, mango, pineapple, and strawberries — tied together with a ginger-lime simple syrup.
The simple syrup was easy to make.
I started with the simple syrup, adding sugar, water, a few large pieces of chopped ginger, and the zest of a lime in a saucepan.
Once the mixture was boiling, I stirred until the sugar dissolved, then poured it all into a container and put it in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Meanwhile, I washed, peeled, and chopped all of the fruit and put it in a bowl.
I poured the syrup onto the fruit, gently stirring it to coat all of the pieces, then let the mix chill for another hour. I topped the salad with chopped mint to serve.
This fruit salad would be perfect on a hot, summer day.
Flay’s fruit salad was another favorite of mine. Even though I’m not a huge fan of kiwi or papaya, those flavors worked well in this recipe.
Ginger can be overpowering, so I was concerned the syrup would be too much, but it was the perfect amount.
I could still taste all of the fruit but picked up hints of spice from the ginger and refreshing notes from the lime and mint.
Ramsay’s tangy fruit salad includes chili pepper and other unique ingredients.
For Ramsay’s fruit salad, I had to track down some tamarind paste (a sour paste made from the namesake fruit) for the dressing. I couldn’t find any at my local grocery stores but was able to order some online for a few dollars.
The dressing also includes peanuts, chili pepper, lime zest and juice, and palm or brown sugar — I used the latter since I always had that in my pantry.
The salad sports an intriguing lineup of fruit: pineapple, green apple, mango, pear and cucumber.
Ramsay’s recipe was quick and easy to throw together.
Making the dressing just involves whisking together the tamarind paste, chopped pepper, lime zest and juice, and brown sugar. It smelled delicious, which was a promising sign.
I then chopped the fruit, saving the apple and pear for last since those tend to brown quickly.
Once the fruit was combined, I poured over the dressing and stirred until all of the pieces were thoroughly coated.
I love the dressing, but not with the fruit.
This salad was OK, but the fruit and dressing didn’t pair well together.
But I love the dressing itself — it’d be delicious as a tofu marinade or poured over rice and sautéed veggies.
Fieri and Flay had my favorite fruit salads, but I am looking forward to making Ramsay’s dressing again.
For a fun dessert, I’d go for Fieri’s grilled fruit salad, but I’ll make Flay’s recipe again when I’m craving a more traditional option.
I enjoyed the combination of fruit in Biegel’s sangria salad, but the dressing didn’t add much to the final product.
On the flip side, I wasn’t a huge fan of the fruit pairings in Ramsay’s recipe, but the dressing is so versatile, and I can’t wait to try it on some savory dishes.
This story was originally published on August 26, 2021, and most recently updated on July 12, 2023.
Click to check out the other celebrity-chef recipes we’ve put head-to-head so far.
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