This Summer Fruit & Nut Platter Makes the Most Beautiful Dessert
It's so easy to put together, plus how to take it into fall.
Looking for a lightly sweet finish to your meal that will let guests linger and chat as they snack? Pair colorful fresh fruit with sweet treats, salty nibbles, and nuts. It's a fuss-free dessert that is sure to delight everyone at the table. Use our simple formula to create a gorgeous fruit and nut platter for summer. Plus learn how to transform it into a fall platter.
Summer Fruit & Nut Platter
START WITH THE COLORS OF THE SEASON
Our summer fruit platter is whimsical and bright, reminiscent of long summer days. It features stone fruit, strawberries, and even cherry gold tomatoes-they're a fruit too-to create a sunset-like palette of oranges and reds.
SHOP: Fruit at its peak is an essential element of the platter, so shop your local farmers' market or ask at the grocery store what's being harvested now. Take time to select perfectly ripe fruits by looking for tender, yet firm-to-the-touch flesh and beautifully colored skins.
PREP: For a stunning presentation, start slicing small stone fruit into wedges and leave the rest halved on the board. Keep tiny berries whole and slice larger ones in half or quarters, to show off their beautiful centers.
ADD UNEXPECTED SAVORY ELEMENTS
Add one or two savory additions, just enough to balance the plate and push guests to try new flavor combos. For summer, add fresh ricotta, a light textured cheese, that's used in both savory and sweet dishes.
SERVE: To bring out ricotta's savory qualities, drizzle it generously with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
A subtly sweet addition like honey, jam, or dried fruit emphasizes the natural sweetness of the fresh fruits without overpowering them. It also helps balance the savory selections so the platter still feels like dessert-and adds just the right notes for those who like to end with something sweet. Place a wedge of honeycomb in the bowl of honey for a pretty and playful element. Add pieces of sugared candied ginger, which pair well with everything on the platter and bring a chewy element to the plate.
Next, select crackers or add sliced bread to pile all the sweet and salty bites on. Light cracker crisps complement the delicate flavors of our summer fruit platter.
SERVE: Arrange crackers on the platter in a casual cascade if there's space or pile them on a separate plate if there isn't room. We like to place crackers on an additional plate, as they are larger than other elements and can break up the flow of the platter.
Nuts bridge the gap between sweet and savory and add some crunch to the platter. Buy the tastiest nuts you can find.
SERVE: Pile on nuts to finish the platter or place them in a bowl alongside.
Fall Fruit & Nut Platter
Transform the platter for fall by using the best autumnal fruits-that naturally introduces a darker, earthy color palette. This means replacing the stone fruit and berries of summer with crisp, in-season pears and apples. Look for beautiful pears like Red Anjou, Seckel, Forelle, and Comice. Pick miniature lady apples or select regular-sized apples like Honeycrisp, which have gorgeous pink-hued skins. Dark red grapes bring bold shape and glorious color and flavor to the platter.
These fresh fall fruits introduce us to the harvest season. It's lovely to also add dried fruits. They have concentrated natural sweetness and flavor, and it is fun to feature fruit in another form. Chewy dried plums and figs add color and charm. Crisp pear and citrus chips double as crackers. If you have time, try making Slow-Roasted Pear Chips.
Select a nice jam, like fig, to replace the honey and sweeten the platter in a different way.
Complement the cooler fall palette with two stellar savory picks: a robust blue cheese, like Point Reyes Bay Blue, and a white-dusted salami. We love to add sausage as an unexpected element in this platter. And it pairs so well with fig jam. Opt for a white-dusted version for the contrast it brings to the dark-hued fall palette Another stylist tip: choose a salami with string for a charming old-world look.
SERVE: For a stellar presentation, crumble the cheese in large pieces and start slicing the sausage but leave most of it whole. This shows guests they can dig in.