Summer fruit salad

by Jenny Chandler

A refreshing yet fiery fruit salad from Jenny Chandler

I’m terribly lazy with fruit, it can languish untouched in the fruit bowl for days. Once chopped up and prepared it’s another story—I’ll eat it by the bowlful. A splash of sugar syrup can make all the difference and seems to really enhance the flavours of the fruit. I sometimes cheat with a dash of elderflower cordial, but this spiced syrup is to die for.


3 tbsp caster sugar
200ml water
2 star anise
1 vanilla pod (optional)
1 knob fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small fresh red chilli—I wouldn’t go too fiery
Zest and juice of ½ lime
Lots of summer fruits


Place the star anise and vanilla (if using) in a small pan with the sugar and water. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then boil for a couple of mins until the syrup becomes viscous. Allow to cool, then throw in the ginger and chilli, lime juice and zest infuse for at least 30 mins. Strain over the fruit salad.

For the fruit—well it’s a case of what looks best on the day. I would maybe use 2 mangoes, 3 oranges and a punnet of English strawberries. A pretty eclectic mix, but it works very nicely. Chop everything about the same size—I don’t tend to go too small. 

Recipe: Jenny Chandler
Images: John Holdship