The basic ingredients for this cheerful salad are easy to find, but lend themselves to an upgrade. Perfect citrus fruit is plentiful and affordable during winter, so mix in some of the more exotic specimens you've been tempted to try.
You can cut the fruit into simple bite-sized chunks or elegant citrus supremes (see our lesson here on how to cut citrus into pith-free segments).
Any good honey will do, but if you have a something special, perhaps a local honey from the farmers' market, this is a worthy use. Bitters are the darling of the cocktail circuit these days, so you might already have a bottle or two on your bar.
Citrus Salad with Honey & Bitters Dressingserves 6 to 8
2 teaspoons very finely grated fresh orange, Meyer lemon, or Buddha's hand zest
1/2 cup fresh citrus juice
1/4 cup light, floral honey
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1 to 3 teaspoons fruity bitters
6 cups fresh citrus fruit pieces, such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, clementines, satsumas, kumquats, pomelos, and/or tangelos
Whisk together the zest, juice, honey, Grand Marnier, and bitters in a large bowl. Taste the dressing and make sure it is balanced. The bitters should be perceptible yet mysterious. Some are more potent than others, so start with a little and work up.
Add the fruit and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and stir gently before serving.
Sheri Castle is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, recipe tester, and culinary instructor. She is the author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes. Sheri is known for melding storytelling, humor, and culinary expertise, so she can tell a tale while making a memorable meal. She hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains but now lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, daughter, and beloved dog. She is fueled by farmers' market fare and excellent bourbon. Check her out at www.shericastle.com.
(Images: Faith Durand)