The Cheesy Breadcrumbs That Will Totally Transform Summer Fruit Salad

One of the drawbacks of fruit salad is the fact that ripe fruit can get mushy, leaving you with a dish that lacks texture. And even if you try to balance the sugary fruits in the salad with acidic ingredients, it can still come off as overly sweet. While there are a number of tips for striking this balance, like measuring out the fruit, adding fresh herbs for vibrant complexity, and even macerating the fruit to introduce different textures, spice, and acidity, we've got a slightly unorthodox fruit salad tip that's a genuine game changer.

Cheesy, nutty breadcrumbs are what your fruit salad needs. If it sounds a bit odd, consider how heavenly the combination of fruit, nuts, and cheese are when you encounter them on a cheese board. And not only do the breadcrumbs help solve the problem of mushiness by soaking up juices that would normally make the salad soggy, the flavor variations one could make by introducing dairy and starch to it are nearly endless. 

How do you make cheesy breadcrumbs?

You don't really need a recipe to make cheesy breadcrumbs; it's just a method, and it's super simple. Use your food processor to whizz up some bread that's on its way to being stale, stir the breadcrumbs together with a little cheese and olive oil, (possibly adding some chopped nuts as well), and toast in the oven. Sprinkled on a fruit salad, you'll get a delicious crunch and savory flavor from this crumbly mixture.

As for which cheese to choose, we love Food & Wine's pairing of a plum and cherry salad topped with gorgonzola and walnut breadcrumbs, but there are so many other delicious options. Try our mint and melon fruit salad with breadcrumbs made with feta cheese and pine nuts; the salty, brined feta and rich, toasted pine nuts balance beautifully with ripe melons. A fruit salad with crisp apples would pair nicely with cheddar and walnut breadcrumbs, and strawberries would sing when topped with blue cheese and pecan breadcrumbs.

And if you have any leftover, your cheesy breadcrumbs have applications beyond fruit salad as well. Toss them on savory salads, steamed veggies, or as a topping for amazing baked mac and cheese.