In case it’s escaped your attention, citrus is in season. We’ve been enjoying their bright pops of sweet and tangy bursts of fruit in everything from salads to hot sides. And yes, I may have revisited my former eight year old self by cutting an orange into wedges to pop in my mouth for that telltale orange smile. I know, I’m easily amused.
This salad has a more grown up feel, though. It’s sweet and tangy — of course, with a pleasing buzz of heat at the end.
And there’s only 3 ingredients — if you count all the varieties of citrus as “one“. Speaking of varieties, I used white and pink grapefruit, blood oranges, naval oranges, clementines and something called a sumo orange — which is now one of my favorites because it’s so fragrant, floral and uber-sweet. Don’t feel constrained to these varieties – use whatever you have.
The hardest part of this is segmenting the fruit – which really isn’t hard at all, but may take some practice. I guarantee that after your third one, you’ll find a rhythm and it will go quickly after that.
You may wonder why I bother to supréme the fruit when so many others just slice the fruit with the membranes still intact.
Well, I don’t like to eat the membrane, it’s tough and chewy. And frankly, doesn’t this look more appetizing? Besides, if you don’t segment the fruit, you don’t get all the slurpy goodness at the bottom of the bowl. And by the way, it would not be at all inappropriate to use some of the juice in a cocktail with some vodka and tonic or rum and simple syrup, or tequila and… just sayin’.
For the sweet heat, I combine honey (I used an orange blossom honey) with some red pepper flakes. Nuke it for a few seconds and pour it over the fruit. Give it a good toss and you’re ready to go.
This is a light refreshing dessert on it’s own, but even better with some butter cookies or ladled over a wedge of pound cake.
Sweet Heat Sunshine Salad
- 12-15 whole assorted ripe citrus such as clementines pink grapefruit, white grapefruit sumo oranges, navel oranges, blood oranges, honeybells, or any other type of citrus-y fruit
- 2 tablespoons honey such as orange blossom
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a small bowl combine the honey and red pepper flakes. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir. Set aside.
- Supreme the citrus by trimming the top and bottom of the fruit with a sharp paring knife; place cut side up. Slice lengthwise between flesh and peel, following fruit's natural contour; remove peel and pith.
- Hold fruit over bowl to catch juice. Slice lengthwise between 1 segment and the membrane until you reach the center of the fruit.
- Make a similar slice on the other side of the segment and drop the segmented fruit into a large bowl. Repeat for each segment and for each piece of citrus. (This may seem tedious, but it goes pretty quickly and you'll develop a rhythm.)
- Once all segments are removed, squeeze juice from membrane into the bowl. Discard membranes and peels.
- Microwave the honey for an additional 15 seconds to loosen it up, then pour the honey over the fruit and fold it in gently to combine.