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SUMMER DINING: Recipe for black pepper honey fruit salad

This June 9, 2014 photo shows black pepper and honey fruit salad in Concord, N.H. The combination of honey and black pepper can give fruit salad some zing. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

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This June 9, 2014 photo shows black pepper and honey fruit salad in Concord, N.H. The combination of honey and black pepper can give fruit salad some zing. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Looking for ways to jazz up your basic fruit salad this summer? Consider giving it a hit from the savory side of the food world.

It's not something we often think of, but ingredients we generally consider savory or spicy can provide a delicious contrast when added to a sweet and juicy fruit salad. Where to start? Something as simple as thinly sliced fresh basil adds a peppery bite to a salad of strawberries, watermelon and grapes.

For even more bite, consider adding very thinly sliced jalapeno peppers. The best way to do this is to slice a fresh pepper in half, scrape out the seeds and ribs, then use a mandoline to slice the chili paper-thin. Mix into the salad for a great sweet-and-heat blend.

And no matter what savory element you add, make sure to also add a pinch of salt. It won't make the salad tasty salty, but it will highlight the natural sweetness of the fruit.

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BLACK PEPPER HONEY FRUIT SALAD

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 10

1 quart strawberries, halved

1 pint blueberries

1 mango (about 1 pound), peeled, pitted and diced

20-ounce jar grapefruit segments, drained

2 nectarines, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 plums, cut into 1-inch pieces

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

In a large bowl, gently mix together the strawberries, blueberries, mango, grapefruit segments, nectarines and plums.

In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, lime juice and honey. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and stir gently to coat.

Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories; 5 calories from fat (5 per cent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 2 g protein; 30 mg sodium.

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