wintry citrus salad with ginger hibiscus syrup
I've been acutely aware lately of a personal need to step back, pull away, and simplify. The desire for more–more stuff, new stuff, more experiences, new experiences, more stimulation, more information–can quickly leach itself into the subconscious, opening a wound of anxiety, a grander vacancy within the heart. The clutter is comforting and coveted, yet still feels like not enough. And with that comes a sense that you are not enough. That if only you bought X or did X or filled your schedule with X that things would be better, your loved ones would love you harder, and the experiences you create in your head would be infinitely better. Life is complicated and humans are weird and fragile and sometimes you need to stop all the list-making and hand-wringing and look at the jumbly stupid mess before you and simply ask, "what can I take away?" This salad is a lesson in simplicity for me (the queen of trying to cram too many recipes into one dish); it allows the beauty of winter citrus to shine in bright bursty bits and can be quickly pulled together when you are feeling bogged down by heavy winter things and are in need of a little fresh air.
• 1/4 cup raw honey
• 3 tbsp. lime juice
• 3" piece of fresh ginger, sliced
• 1 tsp. dried hibiscus tea leaves (rip them out of a tea bag!)
• 1 ruby red grapefruit, supremed
• 1-2 clementines, separated into segments
• 1 large blood orange (or regular orange), supremed
• 1 large ripe-yet-firm pear, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup fresh goldenberries, halved (or more fruit of your choice)
• 1/4 cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
• Sea salt, for sprinkling
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, lime juice, ginger, hibiscus, and 1 tbsp. water until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is reduced slightly and starting to thicken, about 3 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool completely, then strain out the ginger and hibiscus bits (a metal tea strainer works great for this!). Refrigerate your syrup until ready to use–this step can be done a day or two ahead of time!
When ready for the salad, gently toss all the fruit in a medium-sized bowl or shallow platter, then drizzle the syrup generously on top. Sprinkle with the mint, a pinch or two of sea salt, and serve immediately.