Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
This gorgeous dish would feel equally at home as a first course for brunch, as it would as dessert. No matter when or where you serve it, it will be a hit.
Also, don’t pay too much attention to the different types of citrus I list below. Pick and choose from your own favorites, and from whatever looks good in the market. Keep in mind your aim for a variety of colors and sizes, and you won’t go wrong.
1-2 large red grapefruit
1-2 large white grapefruit
2 Cara Cara oranges
2 Mineola oranges
2 blood oranges
3 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbl thinly sliced fresh mint
With a sharp knife, remove the peel from all the citrus except the kumquats. Slice off the top and bottom ends. Rest the fruit on the cutting board, and slice from top to bottom down the sides, removing the skin and the white pith that lies beneath. Continue to slice away the skin, around the entire fruit. Cut away any pith you may have missed.
Slice the red grapefruit, clementines & Mineola oranges into thin circles. Reserve all citrus circles separately, refrigerated in small air-tight containers, until ready to serve.
Slice the white grapefruit, Cara Cara oranges and blood oranges into segments: Hold the peeled fruit over a bowl. Slice downward, as close as possible to the white membrane separating the segments. Make the same slice on the opposite side of the same segment. When the two cuts meet at the bottom, the citrus segment with slide out, and fall into the bowl. Repeat with the remaining segments. When done with the entire fruit, squeeze the juice into the bowl. Strain the juice into a separate container. Reserve all citrus segments separately, refrigerated in small air-tight containers, until ready to serve. Collect all the different juices together.
Slice the kumquats into thin circles, discarding the top and bottom end slices. Remove any seeds. Reserve, refrigerated in an air-tight container, until ready to serve.
To make the syrup, combine 3/4 cup of the citrus juice with the sugar and the vanilla in a small sauce pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. Reserve, refrigerated in an air-tight container, until ready to serve.
To assemble, arrange the different citrus slices and segments in a pretty fashion on small dessert plates. Spoon about 1-2 Tbl syrup over each plate and garnish with a sparse sprinkling of sliced mint.
SERVED AT THIS DINNER PARTY