february 2, 2018
It’s so easy to toss together fruit salad in warmer months. Rinse some berries, cut up some melon and throw in something else for color, perhaps a few green grapes. During the chillier months, you have citrus at peak season but if you’re like me you don’t always think of those fruits as part of a salad. There’s peeling involved. Work to be done. But the payoff! A brilliantly hued platter of abundance and the opportunity to play with your food and make it pretty.
I admit the easy route is more appealing, especially for breakfast. Blueberries and cut-up melon in summer months last a few days in the fridge, so you have a premade bowl of colorful fruits at your disposal. Cold weather fruits, like apples and pears, tend to brown easily, unless you brush with lemon juice, and others turn to mush quickly (kiwi, I see you) or need to be seeded and peeled. Perhaps I can convince you to indulge in a winter fruit salad which requires a little effort, and gives back in so many ways. Vitamins galore, plenty of fiber, and the aforementioned stunning visuals.
For a savory dinner salad made with citrus, see Citrus Napa Cabbage Salad. For this breakfast and brunch salad I used pineapple, kiwi, red Bartlett pear, cara cara oranges, pink grapefruit, black grapes and my favorite little jewels, the seeds of a pretty pomegranate. See Blood Orange Beet Salad for how to peel and slice citrus fruits. Others might be golden kiwi, Pink Lady apple and, for creaminess, banana and avocado. This is a salad not only for improvisation, but one that creates itself based on what looks most fresh at the market.
The finished product may not last that long ( I got a couple days out of this platter), but that’s not an issue if you’re feeding a small crowd. Imagine the pleasant surprise if your contribution to a brunch gathering is a platter of assorted fruits arranged artfully, with a tasty but not too exotic dressing made with maple syrup and vegan mayonnaise. The kicker is a pinch of Chinese five space powder, redolent of star anise and not so strange that picky eaters would balk. Of course, if they do balk there is more for the adventurous eaters in the crowd!
Winter Fruit Salad
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
variable servings depending on how much you decide to plate
¾ cup of your favorite vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
assorted fruits : here, pineapple, kiwi, red Barlett pear (brushed with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning if necessary for serving), pink grapefruit peeled and sliced, black grapes, pomegranate arils, cara cara oranges peeled and sliced
- In small bowl combine vegan mayonnaise with maple syrup and five spice powder; may be made up to 2 weeks ahead – keep chilled until ready to serve.
- Arrange fruits on serving platter and pass sauce for spooning atop salad servings
note : See this post about how to peel and slice citrus fruits