Simple Citrus Salad w. Tarragon Honey Syrup

Orange Bowl

I have to admit that I am kind of a lazy orange eater. I eat the most at Christmas time because they come in cute little easy-to-peel packages, and tend to ignore those ones with the pesky thick skins. Strange things happen at the farmers market though, you are surrounded by all this glorious, locally-grown produce and you feel as if you are doing yourself a disservice by not trying everything. {Ahem, because you are.} This week it was the citrus stand that I could not pull my eyes away from, so I decided to buy up a few different kinds of oranges, some lemons and limes, and see what I could come up with. All the oranges were so delicious and sweet in their own way that I really wanted to just showcase their color and highlight the flavors.

Simple Citrus Salad w. Tarragon Honey Syrup // Serves 4

2 blood oranges

2 clementines

2 Cara cara (or other navel orange)

1 tangerine

Syrup:

2 T local honey

1 T water

1 T fresh lemon juice

4 sprigs tarragon + more to top salad

To make syrup, combine honey, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until honey dissolves; add whole tarragon sprigs. As soon as bubbles start to appear on the surface, remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Orange Peels

To create the jewel-like orange slices, work one at a time and slice off enough of the top and bottom (stem side & opposite) to expose a good amount of flesh without being too wasteful. Sit it on one the flat sides and use a sharp paring knife to trim off the peel and pith from the top, curving down to the bottom. You can do this in two motions if it is easier for you, flipping it over to continue the curved cut. Move around the orange, you will be taking off about ¾” peel section with each motion, and once all of the peel is removed, you will have a beautiful, naked orange. The selection of oranges I chose worked really well because the blood orange is a deep pinky-red where the Cara cara is a light pink and they look beautiful with the other bright orange colors. You could definitely add a grapefruit too, they are just not a favorite in our house so I did not! I recommend peeling all the of the oranges first, and keeping them under a piece of plastic wrap while you peel the rest because if you slice as you go, the juice gets everywhere! {Trust me.}

Slice the peeled fruit about ¼” thick, on a board with a moat if you have it, and arrange on one big platter or on individual plates, mixing the colors as you go. Drizzle lightly with the syrup and sprinkle with fresh, torn tarragon leaves.

Citrus Salad

This can be served as a light dessert or snack, or alongside a meal as I did for my husband and I. I zested half of one of the oranges before I peeled it and added that, along with fresh herbs and seasoning, to create a rub for the pork tenderloin, & served it over a bed of arugula. The flavors melded perfectly and it was a refreshingly light but filling dinner. You'll get the hang of peeling them after a couple and the result is a showstopper - and it’s easy on the pocketbook too!

With a full heart and an empty plate,


Katie

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