Today’s guilt-free recipe is fresh, seasonal and festive. It features an array of winter citrus and crimson pomegranate, presented prettily in a fresh take on a fruit salad.
For me, a perfect early Christmas morning breakfast consists of one of each of the following:
- Beverage: Coffee, Juice, Mimosas, Hot Cocoa…something special for both you and the kids.
- Fresh Fruit: That’s where this salad comes in!
- Warm Baking: Croissants, Scones with jam, Cinnamon Buns or these best ever muffins.
Now, please note that I am talking about breakfast, not brunch. Brunch is entirely different, and we’ll talk more about it next week. I really mean breakfast, as in a little something at 7 am (or earlier depending on what time the kids jump on you) to start your morning off right.
It should be simple, but still special. It IS Christmas morning, after all.
A Favorite Citrus Salad
For whatever reason, the term “Fruit Salad” conjures up unpleasant memories for me. Hacked up, tasteless fruit – or worse yet, a can of fruit cocktail opened and poured into a bowl. When you live in the North, as I do, it’s hard to nail a good fruit salad at Christmas time. The produce is generally dry, tasteless and has traveled far too many miles to your table.
This citrus salad embraces what is in season at Christmas: oranges, grapefruit, pomegranate and clementines. Sure, it has traveled to your table, but it’s bursting with flavor, unlike those pale strawberries that should be at the supermarket.
Two extra ingredients give this fruit salad an element of surprise and extra level of flavor: rose water and vanilla sugar. Rose water, a condiment commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine, can easily be found in major grocery stores and ethnic markets. A mere splash of the rose water’s delicate perfume and this simple breakfast side dish is transformed.
Recipe: Citrus & Pomegranate Salad with Rose Water-Vanilla Syrup
- 2 oranges
- 2 pink grapefruit
- 2 yellow grapefruit
- 2 tangerines or clementines
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla sugar or honey
- 2 teaspoons Rose water
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1. Wash and dry fruit. Assemble a large cutting board, a sharp knife and a bowl to hold the citrus peel.
2. Slice off either end of the citrus, and remove peel as demonstrated in the video clip below.
3. Peel all citrus and thinly slice. Reserve the peels for marmalade if you like.
4. Select a large serving platter for your salad; it should have slightly rounded edges to be able to hold the orange juice that will seep.
5. Arrange fruit on platter any way you like. In the photos I have alternated slices of pink and yellow grapefruit in one column, and orange and tangerine in another. Another pretty way is to start in the center of the plate and layer slices of citrus in a circle building outward.
6. In a small bowl, stir together rose water and vanilla sugar until sugar is dissolved. With a small spoon, drizzle mixture all over the layers of fruit.
7. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.
Variation: Orange Blossom Water, Honey and Mint Citrus Salad
- 2 teaspoons Orange Blossom water
- 1 Tablespoon honey, warmed
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint leaves
- Prepare and arrange the citrus slices on a platter as directed in the recipe above.
- Combine orange blossom water and honey together to make a syrup and drizzle over fruit.
- Finely chop mint leaves -reserving a few for garnish- and strew on top of the salad. Serve at once.
If you think I’m doing this much knife work on Christmas morning, then you are mistaken! Another one of the attractions of this citrus salad is its ‘do-ahead’ adaptability.
- The evening before your breakfast or brunch, remove the peel from all of the citrus as shown in the video, but do not slice the fruit.
- Wrap each peeled orange or grapefruit in a small piece of plastic wrap,and stash in a Tupperware container. Cover and refrigerate overnight until ready to use.
- You can also make the vanilla syrup ahead of time.
- In the morning, simply unwrap the fruit, slice, and arrange on a plate. Proceed with the recipe as usual.
Psst! Stay tuned because I’ll be giving away some lids from Tattler tomorrow!
How do you like to enjoy the winter fruits?