image by Francois Carstens/sxc.hu
When you need to bring a dish to a gathering, you cannot go wrong with a fruit tray. It is one food that everyone can enjoy. Kids like the little bite-size pieces. Dieters can partake without guilt. Vegetarians are able to consume fresh fruit without worrying about hidden ingredients. In addition, when you buy fruit in season it is an affordable option. If you have decided to create an appetizing, colorful fruit tray, you can set it up to make it ultra-appealing.
Wash lettuce leaves separately and pat them dry. Begin to set up the fruit tray by lining it with lettuce leaves. Place the torn edges of the leaves toward the center of the tray and the lacy outer edges along the tray's border.
Pare the fruit, removing any skin. Cut larger pieces of fruit into bite-size pieces using a paring knife or other small kitchen knife. Take the shape of the tray into account when deciding what shape the fruit pieces should be. For example, if you are using a round or oval tray, cutting the fruit into square or triangle pieces will add interest to the fruit tray.
Wash grapes and berries. Remove any stems or leaves from these smaller fruits so that they will be easy to set up and so that others can easily grab a single piece of the fruit from the tray.
Set up the first type of cut fruit on the tray by placing the pieces neatly together onto one section of the tray. Do not scatter the fruit over the tray, but rather place each type of fruit together. Depending on what shape the tray is, you can arrange the fruit in different patterns. For an oval tray, set up each type of fruit in a row. For a square tray, you can set up the fruit in a wedge-shaped pattern.
Sprinkle the smaller pieces of fruit, such as grapes and berries, over the other fruit on the tray. Use these smaller bits to fill in any empty spots on the tray, as well. Complete the set up by skewering several pieces of fruit with decorative toothpicks. Place more toothpicks on the tray for guests to use. If desired, serve the fruit tray with a side of fruit dip.