Fruit Salad with Lavender Water

I’m cheating a little here with an import from the Pacific Northwest. I discovered this variation of an Arab dish after Mary Ellen Standly, my good friend of 30 years, moved to Washington State and began selling lavender as a side business. She sent me a batch and I’ve been in love with lavender ever since. Feel free to substitute the fresh fruit to represent the best selection of your own region.

The Syrup

½ tablespoon dried lavender
¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
1 cup water

To make lavender water, bring lavender and ¼ cup water to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep 2 hours, then strain. Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and add the lavender water. Then remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool completely.

The Salad

2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios
1 orange
1 grapefruit
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 lb. strawberries, hulled

Soak the pistachios in warm water for 20 minutes. Peel the orange and grapefruit with a sharp knife, removing all the white pith, and cut out the segments. Combine the citrus, pineapple and strawberries in a large bowl. Drain the pistachios and add them to the fruit. Add the cooled syrup to the bowl and toss to coat the fruit in the syrup. Serve cold. Serves four.

You might want to make a larger batch of the lavender water since it is also a breezy aromatic laundry additive in the rinse cycle.

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