Saturday, February 28, 2015

Citrus Salad with Honey and Rosewater

Platter and 2 plates of Citrus Salad
Winter Brightness

Recipe inspired by Lindsay

As readers know, I’ve been uninspired to cook or create lately. February can be like that. Dark and cold weather, winter illness, lack of local veggies; these things happen. And yet, our citrus possibilities will never be better than right now. In the midst of my doldrums, a magazine article reminded me of a luncheon that my friend Lindsay served years ago. Though I’ve forgotten the entrée, I’ll always remember the dessert, so simple and so elegant. All she did was open up and dish out a can of mandarin oranges, then sprinkled them with a bit of rosewater. What a flavor revelation! The large variety of citrus in the market right now inspired me to try a fresh variation of this dessert. I served it as a salad to accompany broiled swordfish. It would be equally bright and delicious at breakfast. Sunny colors, Vitamin C, and a bit of sweetness (not to mention easy prep) provided the perfect antidote to winter blues.

Assorted Oranges and Tangerines in Salad
Rainbow of Citrus Colors
Navel oranges, blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges, and honey tangerines looked good at my local organic produce counter. Any variety of oranges and tangerines will work, though it looks best to have contrast in colors. Cara Caras are pinkish, blood oranges are reddish, and honey tangerines are yellowish. You could add pink or ruby grapefruit if your orange choices are limited. Quantities can be varied depending upon your preferences and what’s available.

As we say farewell to February, let’s enjoy some brightness from our seasonal citrus bounty.

Plate of Salad with Jars of Orange HOney and Rosewater
Active Ingredients: Orange Honey and Rosewater
 Citrus Salad with Honey and Rosewater
serves 4 – 6

2 blood oranges
1 Cara Cara orange
1 navel orange
2 large honey tangerines
2 tbsp. honey, preferably orange blossom
¼ cup warm water
½ - ¾ tsp. culinary rosewater
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Peel all citrus fruits and remove as much of white pith as possible. Slice into ¼” thick rounds and arrange attractively on serving platter.

In a small jar with a lid, stir together honey and warm water so honey is partially dissolved. Add ½ tsp. rosewater and cinnamon. Screw on lid and shake jar until honey is dissolved. You might have to pause and stir periodically to get the honey off the bottom and sides of the jar.

Taste the honey sauce and see if you like the strength of rosewater. Different kinds of honey will affect the flavor. If your honey is more strongly flavored than orange blossom honey, you can add ¼ tsp. more rosewater, then shake up the sauce again.

Spoon honey sauce evenly over sliced citrus on serving platter. Let stand for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve the slices topped with a bit of the liquid from the platter.

Plate of Citrus Salad
Salute to February Fruit

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