This whole-berry salad is a versatile dish that is is easy to make, wonderfully pretty and so darned delicious that it’s silly! The slight tartness of the berries and the not-so-simple syrup makes It a great contrast for something sweet like French toast or waffles, but it’s also wonderful paired with tart flavors, such as a Greek yogurt cheese, goat cheese, or something savory and smoked like turkey. Be sure to allow enough time for the syrup to chill, and then, for the berry salad to macerate.
- 1 cup dry vermouth or full-bodied, dry white wine (see Kitchen Tips)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 pint blackberries, washed and drained (about 1½ cups)
- 2 pints raspberries, washed and drained (about 3 cups)
- 1 pint blueberries, preferably wild if available, trimmed, washed, and drained (about 1½ cups)
- 1½ cups white seedless grapes, sliced
- 3 kiwis, peeled and cut into 1½- to 2-inch pieces
- Make a syrup: Combine the vermouth, agave, vinegar, and mint leaves in a small, nonreactive saucepan and heat until the mixture starts to boil. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until reduced in volume by one-third. Remove from the heat, cover, let stand for a moment. Pour into a plastic container and as soon as you can touch it easily, cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.
- When you are ready to assemble the salad, remove the mint leaves. Add the wine mixture to the fruit and toss very gently. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- If you want a sweeter dressing, you can substitute Lillet or a Sauterne wine for the vermouth, but if you do, you should omit the agave.
- If you do not cook with wine, you can use grape juice and again, omit the agave.