Recipe source: The Kitchn
Promo! I got this recipe from a new favorite food and lifestyle site, The Kitchn (see link above). I love their recipes and tips, and the writing style is fun and down-to-earth. The design of their site is really unique in the way they use pictures, and some of the pictures themselves are inspiring ideas of things I’d like to do creatively. They also have tips and contests on home decorating, focusing on design for small spaces, and ways to be environmental with your living space, repurpose old items, make crafts, etc… sheesh, you’d think they’re paying me for this. Enough of my gushing review, just go check them out! 🙂
So I chose this recipe to share with friends on a picnic at Belle Marie Winery. It fit my qualifications of late – combining several different flavors for a taste I wouldn’t be familiar with, being “gourmetish” (hellooo, vanilla bean!), and most
importantly for this occasion, cold, portable and healthy. I also learned a couple new things along the way.
Peeps, I had no idea what an oroblanco was before this recipe. For your information, it is a white grapefruit. And not easy to find. After baffling the produce staff of a few local markets, I finally found these and the lemongrass at Whole Foods. For whatever smack I may talk about Whole Foods (aka “Whole Paycheck”), God love ’em for carrying some exotic sh*t.
I also learned what lemongrass looks like, and the various ways to process it. (See this article from The Kitchn for more info.) The recipe called for bruising the lemongrass, but I pretty much murdered it… I cracked it in about a bazillion places so I could really be sure the flavor would come out. Next time I think I’ll just grate it with a microplane.
Anyhoo, the basics of this recipe are a combination of oranges and red and white grapefruit, tossed with a syrup made of citrus juice, honey, lemongrass and vanilla bean, and garnished with lime zest and mint. The tart flavors in the syrup, combined with the creaminess of the vanilla bean was truly amazing. This salad got rave reviews from my friends, so I will definitely be making it again! Next time I’ll make extra syrup to mix in cocktails, ooh la la…
1/2 pink or red grapefruit per person, segmented, juice reserved
1/2 oroblanco per person, segmented, juice reserved
1/2 navel orange per person, segmented, juice reserved
1/2 cup honey
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, cut into 2-inch pieces and bruised
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Zest of 1 lime
Mint leaves for garnish
Combine the citrus segments in a bowl. Cover and chill.
In a small saucepan, mix 1/2 cup reserved citrus juice (top off with water if necessary) with honey, lemongrass, and vanilla pod and seeds. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Strain.
Divide citrus segments among serving dishes. Drizzle with syrup and garnish with lime zest and mint.
Although pink or red grapefruit is highly recommended, feel free to make substitutions for this and the other citrus varieties and quantities.
This recipe makes enough syrup for about 8 servings. Store any leftover syrup in the refrigerator for up to a week and use it in soda water, mixed drinks, etc.