15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

It’s a few weeks after Mother’s Day at this point, but better late than never. This year for Mother’s Day, I took a few Simply Delicious recipes and decided to make a brunch menu out of them for my mom. We usually do lox and bagels at home for our holiday brunch celebrations, but this year I wanted the full Mother’s Day buffet experience–but still at home. It’s not brunch without fruit salad, so the first entry for this grand event (MD2017) is 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad.

But wait a minute, you say! This is from the Cold Desserts category? How can it be for brunch?

It’s fancy fruit salad–I think it’ll be okay either as a dessert or a brunch side dish. Plus, I need to burn off some of these dessert recipes–so many of them require fresh fruit and summer is the best time for that.

It’s mostly just, “get fruit, cut fruit, layer in bowl, eat”. Not too difficult–I saved the hard ones for later.

Ingredients–lots of fruit. Frozen orange juice is really concentrated–if I did it again, I’d either use the juice from the oranges or buy a small container of fresh juice.

Rinsed the grapes off in a colander.

Simply Delicious suggests halving the grapes, I sliced them into thin rounds instead since that’s how I used to do it in my restaurant days for our chicken salad sandwich, and it’d been a while since I’d done them that way. No seeds to remove, since in 2017 it’s much more difficult to even find grapes with seeds.

This was maybe even just one banana–the first one I sliced on more of a bias and the pieces looked strange. I gave those to Adam and tried again with normal slices. I chose to use slightly green bananas since I was making this on Friday night to serve Sunday morning, and I wanted the bananas to stay as fresh and appealing as possible.

Two layers down–I got to bust out one of my big glass bowls for this one, haven’t gotten to use them for a while. This was part of a 10-piece nested glass mixing bowl set I got for our wedding from Crate & Barrel–they’re nice for display purposes, but I tend to use metal bowls for mixing more than glass.

I really should have just bought diced canned peaches rather than buying sliced ones and doing the dicing myself. I mean, if it’s already gonna be canned peaches, have them do ALL the work.

Two more layers down, that’s 4 in total now. I deliberated for like 20 minutes on whether this would be an appropriate-sized bowl or if I needed to go up or down a size. Seems like it’ll work out.

Those are some GORGEOUS raspberries. Raspberries are so fickle–usually most of them end up looking dull and squished (especially when you rinse them off first), but these stayed pretty plump and bright. I saved some of my raspberries for one of my desserts for this meal, 15-30: Champagne Sundaes.

Another skill I learned from the restaurant days: how to supreme an orange. I’d do this to a few oranges each day as prep work for one of our salads–probably one of the tasks that challenged me the most in the early days (and even still today–it’s tricky).

Well, isn’t that pretty. I almost don’t want to add more layers to it because it looks so nice.

Peeled the kiwi and sliced it thin to add the final layer. Ok, that’s all of the ingredients, but it seems like something’s missing…

…how about a poor attempt at a strawberry flower-thing? I had some FRESH strawberries (straight from the garden) in the fridge, so I picked the nicest-looking three or four and sliced them thin, arranging them in some sort of attempt at a flower.

My orange juice didn’t end up as clear as theirs, which made the bottom of my salad look a bit muddled. However, it did look a bit better by the time I pulled it out of the fridge on Sunday morning, so there is hope if you use frozen orange juice like I did. This made a great side dish for our brunch, and if you have leftovers, just blend it up into smoothies!

Grade: A

Interested in the other dishes that I made for this year’s Mother’s Day brunch? (MD2017)