Hyacinth Beans--Brought to the White House Kitchen Garden from Monticello

Hyacinth Beans--Brought to the White House Kitchen Garden from Monticello

I'm a huge fan of fruit salad. Each individual fruit on its own is good, but a bunch of different fruits hanging out in a bowl together is like a colorful work of art that you can't resist eating. For me, that usually means eating it all in one sitting... Oops. I love the playfulness of blending textures and flavors--sweet berries with tangy citrus or soft figs with crisp pears.

There is a fruit salad for every season, contrary to the belief of fast food restaurants who keep flavorless, out-of-season strawberries in the mix through the dead of winter. If you're not sure what fruits to pair in your fruit salad, take a hint from nature and just buy whatever is freshest at the grocery store or farmers' market. I'm crushing on persimmons and pears right now, but you'll also find gorgeous pomegranates, citrus fruits, tons of varieties of apples, and if you're lucky, some fresh figs. Any combination of those fruits would make a killer fruit salad. You could just chop the fruit and toss it in a bowl, but why stop there? I like adding flavored syrups, citrus zest, and spices to the mix.

I recently made what my husband called "the best fruit salad ever," and I've been itching to share the recipe with y'all. Here it is:

Autumn Fruit Salad


  • 2 ripe persimmons, diced
  • 1 red anjou pear, diced
  • 1 navel orange or blood orange, peeled and diced
  • Arils (seeds) from 1 pomegranate
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • A splash of vanilla extract


Combine the persimmons, pear, orange, and pomegranate arils in a medium-size bowl. Using a Microplane grater, grate the lime zest over the bowl. In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, lime juice, and vanilla extract. Pour the syrup mixture over the fruit and toss to combine. Enjoy!