It’s a rare occasion I recycle an old recipe, but taken this one was amongst the very first posted when the blog started a few years ago, and the photo needed updating and I just happen to have made it for lunch today, I though it was the perfect moment to bring it out inri the limelight again.
From the predominantly long list of desserts I have, this has to be one of the healthiest I have ever posted, and though when thinking of a dessert mind tends to wonder towards more chocolaty varieties (for me at least), after a heavy meal, when a sweet, but light bite is all that’s needed towards perfection, this is the one to have.
As it’s not my typical dessert, I didn’t come by it casually either.
Some 3 years ago, on one joint cooking occasion I’ve put my hand up to make the dessert, secretly hoping to quickly get away with one of the chocolate cake recipes I’ve had in stock. But alas, courses: 1, 2 and 3 going before were quickly taken up by rather fulfilling, or in other words heavy options, after which a rich and decadent chocolate dessert would have not been ideal (though on second thought is there ever a bad time to chocolate dessert?) and it was quickly decided by majority vote, the dessert would be a sort of citrus salad: simple and refreshing, and all I would have to do would be to segment oranges, grapefruits and mandarins for 17 people…
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well it took me no less than a few hours to segment them all, after which my relationship with citrus fruit had to undergo some serious therapy, but as we have patched up our differences and misunderstandings throughout the years, there is no reason to avoid it anymore.
For anyone preparing a feast for a similar number, I’d probably recommend to go for a less labour intensive dessert, unless you are armed with utmost patience. However, for a lesser crowed it’s not only feasible, but can also be made within minutes, depending how fast you can segment all sorts of citrus.
There is a shortcut to it, obviously, if you don’t mind the slight bitterness, you can always peel skin and serve the citrus with membranes, though without them it does look much better.
In short, it’s a lovely and refreshing combination of flavors, to be enjoyed without a dash of guilt any time!
- 4 medium oranges (or 4 blood oranges)
- 3 grapefruits
- 4 mandarins
- 1½ tablespoon of honey
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- bunch of mint
- Wash the fruits carefully and pat dry.
- Use a zester (otherwise normal peeler, but be sure to take only the top) to scrape the zest of the oranges and put them aside. Try to touch the white part of the skin as little as possible.
- Cut the top and bottom parts of the oranges and carefully slice the rest of the skin with a knife, holding the orange on the cutting board. This will reveal the segments and make it easier to release them.
- Make take the orange in the palm of your hand and make careful incisions on both sides of the segments releasing them into a bowl. Once done, give a good squeeze to get all the juice out. Repeat the process with the rest of the fruits except for zesting. This is for oranges exceptionally. One thing to keep in mind is to cut the segments out of the white skin rather precisely, otherwise it will give a bitter taste, which is not welcome here.
- Once all the fruits are segmented and squeezed, very finely chop half of the zest you had put aside and through into the bowl together with the remaining unchopped zest into the the citrus fruits. Stir in the honey and Grand Marnier gently, not to break the segments and store it covered in a fridge untill ready to serve.
- To serve, divide the citrus mixture among 4 glasses or wide bowls, top with finely chopped or in this case julienned mint (that’s how the thin slices are called) and enjoy!