Berries are the utterly fresh flavour of summer. Tart, sweet and juicy, they come in a wide array of types, ranging from bright and delicate raspberries to fleshy strawberries, plump little blueberries and rich blackberries. The passion fruit is not a distinctive flavour in this dish, but instead it adds a fragrant tart edge.
Excellent source of vitamin C. Useful source of folate, vitamin E.
Instead of passion fruit, add 3 tbsp crème de cassis. Chill until ready to serve. * Omit the passion fruit and instead serve the berry salad with a peach and apricot sauce: peel and purée 2 ripe peaches and flavour with 2–3 tbsp caster sugar, the juice of ½ lemon and a dash of pure almond extract. Finely dice 8 ready-to-eat dried apricots and add to the peach purée. Serve the berries on plates in a pool of the sauce. * Serve the berry salad spooned over vanilla frozen yogurt.
Comparing the same weight of each fruit, blackcurrants come out on top for vitamin C, with 200 mg in each 100 g (3½ oz), as compared with strawberries with 77 mg, raspberries 32 mg and blackberries 15 mg. These days vitamin C is not only recognised as essential to prevent scurvy (a condition where gums bleed, skin becomes fragile and blood vessels leak into the surrounding tissue, causing bruising), but also for maintaining the immune system and as an antioxidant, preventing the damaging processes that can lead to heart disease and cancer. * To this feast of summer fruit, rich in dietary fibre and vitamin C, passion fruit also adds vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and good vision, and blackberries add vitamin E, an important antioxidant. The effects of vitamin E are enhanced by other antioxidants like vitamin C, so this combination of fruits is particularly healthy.