This beautiful citrus salad is inspired by the warm sweet flavors of Morocco and sun-kissed California farmlands. Cinnamon, saffron, honey, mint, pomegranate celebrate the souks of Marrakech and the citruses from the endless orchards of Central valley, California.
Every year I look forward to winter for citruses. The juicy sweet oranges, clementines, navels, lemons fill my home with the scent that no other fragrance can match. Lemons and oranges grow plentiful in this part of the world. Every home has a tree in their front or backyard, so there is always a good supply between the neighbors exchanging lemons for oranges or visa-versa. I have a 15-year-old Meyer lemon tree which gives me a constant supply of fruit. We just pluck as we need and leave the rest hanging.
This salad is one of our favorite ways to eat different citruses. Look for what’s available in your market, mix and match different varieties and colors. Choose some sweet, some bitter, some tart. They add a beautiful contrast to the salad. I choose Cara cara( navel with pink pulp) , navel, pomelo, grapefruit, blood oranges and juice from one lime.
- 6-8 different varieties of citruses, approximately 2 per person. Choose navel oranges, pomelo, satsumas, mandarins, grapefruits, the idea is different colors, flavors and sizes
- juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron soaked in 1/4 cup warm water for 20 minutes
- handful of mint leaves
- Handful of pomegranate arils
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- A few fennel fronds optional
- a handful of toasted pistachios
- 1 tablespoon local honey or maple syrup if you like it sweeter
- Steep the saffron threads in 1/4 cup warm water for 20-30 minutes till you get a golden liquid.
- Add cinnamon, juice of one lime or lemon and honey. Mix well and set aside.
- Wash and the fruits and cut them as best as you can to remove the skin and white pith. My knife skills are not the best, but okay.
- Slice the fruits in medium thick circles and arrange in alternate colors.
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds, pistachios, mint and fennel fronds.
- Just before serving drizzle the saffron elixir and serve right away!