If you bring this to your next brunch, the chatter will quickly shift from ‘who brought the killer sangria?’ to ‘who brought this amazing fruit salad?’
Fruit salad trumping booze? Some might scoff, but I say yes. To be fair, we should have both. Lots of both.
Regular fruit salad is already so fun, but douse it in a ginger-infused syrup and add a crunchy little topping? Your brunch calendar will fill up so fast, you’ll start to wonder when you’re going to have time to do your laundry.
The fruit that has the biggest presence in this salad is grapefruit, which probably makes many cringe, but grapefruit is my thing. When Kroger has them 10/$10, look out. I’m a-comin’. Not only is it my favorite fruit on the planet (maybe tied with freshly-picked strawberries… maybe), it’s also my most favorite word in French: ‘pamplemousse.’ (A close second is ‘sinaasappelsap,’ which is ‘orange juice’ in Dutch. This is what happens after years of shopping in Belgian grocery stores.) French, English, red, white, pink, Texan, Californian- I don’t discriminate. I love all grapefruits. The Booze Hound hates them all, which means he was not the biggest fan when I handed him his pretty little bowl, but he ate it anyway because
I’ve trained him well he loves me.
If you’re a grapefruit lover like me, or even just on the fence about them, you will adore this salad. The syrup is actually made of orange and grapefruit juice that simmers with fresh ginger until it becomes syrupy. The grapefruit holds onto its sweet-tart flavor, which is enhanced by the sweet-spicy flavor from the ginger, though after days in the fridge (because let’s face it- I was eating the rest of this by myself and a girl can only eat so much at a time), the syrup started to soak into the fruit a little more, making it a little more sweet than tart. No matter- it was still amaaaaazing.
I can’t believe I have never thought to buzz fresh mint, toasted almonds, and sugar in the same food processor before. It’s heaven. Mint and fruit are great buddies, and that little crunch catapults this to a totally gourmet dish. True, some of the topping settles at the bottom of your bowl and becomes slightly soggy by the time you get there, but am I a bad person that I kind of looked forward to that part? Does a little less crunch really matter when you’re taking a bite of minty almond goodness? Methinks no.
I wish I could make this every weekend, but I wouldn’t do that to the Booze Hound with his loathing of my beloved Ruby Red. And I love straight up grapefruit so much that I would miss it if I were to only eat it in this salad. But if you have grapefruit lovers in your life and/or want to be the one that makes that gourmet fruit salad (because there are plenty of recipes involving an infused syrup, but minty almond crunch? That’s what puts this fruit salad over the edge. And the fact that it highlights grapefruit. I think I mentioned I love me some grapefruit.)… then you really need to stock up and try this before grapefruit season ends. Or if you share the Booze Hound’s feeling that they taste like feet, make it with a variety of oranges, like some navel + some cara cara + some blood oranges. It’ll still be amazing. And beautiful. And you’ll still get all your brunch invites.
- ½ cup toasted almonds
- ¼ cup pure cane granulated sugar
- 8 fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 4 grapefruits, segmented (or just peeled and cut up to the best of your ability) + juice reserved (it looks nice if you use a mix of pink and white fruits)
- 2 navel oranges, segmented (see above) + juice reserved
- 2 T honey
- One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut in half
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- Pulse the almonds, sugar and mint in a food processor to make a coarse streusel-like topping. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Combine the grapefruits and oranges in a large bowl. Combine the reserved citrus juices in a small saucepan (you should have at least 2 cups, if you don't, add enough fresh orange or grapefruit juice to make up the difference). Add the honey and fresh ginger and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture is reduced by half (I think this took me about 20 minutes, but I forgot to time it, so peek in on it and stir it every 5 minutes or so to assess). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Remove the ginger and pour the mixture over the citrus. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in the blueberries. Top with the minted almond sugar and serve.