Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Summer Fruit Salad by @Leslie Karst


Plums are bursting from their skins, zucchini are multiplying faster than those creatures in Alien, tomatoes are finally starting to ripen (okay—not in Santa Cruz, but they are inland from here), and my grapefruit tree is bowing down under the weight of all its fruit.

It must be summer! The perfect time for fruit salad. Here's a method for a lovely salad that I used as dessert for a dinner party, but which you could make into a dinner salad, simply by omitting the brown sugar from the dressing. Other than for the dressing, no amounts are given here--just cut and chop fruit till you have enough!

plums from the neighbor’s trees


I chopped up some cantaloupe and peaches,

and then some of the plums I’d picked that morning from a neighbor’s trees:

Next I threw in some blueberries.

To add a citrusy contrast, I sliced up a couple grapefruit from my tree,

and tossed them into the mix:

For the dressing I was inspired by those street-vendors in Mexico who sell slices of cold, juicy melon and cucumber sprinkled with chili powder and lime juice.


I mixed together:


1/2 cup of plain yogurt

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of chili powder

the juice from half an orange or from one lime (or use both!)



Toss the dressing with the fruit right before service, and garnish with mint, if you have it.


(Sorry the photo is so lousy--it was dark by the time we ate, and I'd had several glasses of wine....)

🍋 🍑 🍒

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
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Leslie on Instagram


THE FRAGRANCE OF DEATH, coming Aug. 2, 2022, 

is now available for pre-order!



Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All five Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!



  1. sounds delightful, and I'm jealous of your grapefruit tree and envious of the plums!

  2. How lucky you are to have a grapefruit tree and a neighbor with a plum tree, Leslie. If you tell me you grow passion fruit in Hawaii, I will be even more green with envy.

    1. Ha! I have no passion fruit (aka lilikoi) vine in Hilo, but a neighbor does!

    2. We've had pretty good success with lilikoi vines in south Florida. Timing is everything--We're in Maine now, just as the fruit is coming in in Florida!

  3. I envy you your grapefruit tree!

  4. Also trying to figure out how to work the comments for Friday! x

  5. This looks beautiful and I bet it tastes it, too.