Winter-in-California Fruit Salad

As part of my job schlepping produce at the local food Co-op, I hear people complain all too often about the lack of peaches, grapes, and watermelon in our produce aisle this time of year. It's as if with the absence of these summer fruits, there is nothing left worth eating. How far from the truth.

For our family's Christmas brunch, one of my contributions was this fruit salad, which is chock full of some of the most beautiful seasonal fruits. Yes, you can buy peaches, strawberries, and grapes this time of year, but why on earth would you eat these under-ripe, tasteless, travelers from a hemisphere away when you can have wonderful fruit that was grown right here in the good 'ol USA?

Satsuma mandarins from Side Hill Citrus. The perfect combination of tart and sweet in a deliciously juicy package. The citrus season is just beginning!

Kiwi, another Vitamin C rich winter fruit. Like pears, kiwi have to be stored for a period of time after harvest in order to develop their sugars. They're only now reaching their winter time sweetness.

Two of the best winter keeping apples - Pink Lady and Arkansas Black. Yes, I know there are Wisconsin apples available now, and that I really should be using them. These California beauties are just so big and showy.... I couldn't help it. They just don't grow organic apples like this in Wisconsin. These are from Cuyama Orchards - one of my all time favorite California apple growers.

Pomegranate. We found this super simple method of deseeding them, which makes it easier than seems possible. Essentially, you spank it with a spoon and the arils fall out. Try it - you will be amazed.

A winter fruit salad isn't complete without persimmons. I have to admit, I get a little silly about these when they're around - I really start to crave them. Unhappily, their season is just about up. Get 'em while you can.

It was all brought together by the juice of this fruit, which I have developed a new love for this winter. Passionfruit, easily juiced by my food mill. This was the secret ingredient in my cranberry sauce, the flavoring for some incredible icing, even a bit of zing to jazz up a simple glass of water. I could think of a million uses for the tangy juice of this fruit..... I already can't wait till they come back next year!

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  1. Now I have to try a persimmon.

  2. oh my, thank you for that pomegranate deseeding tip! Love pomegranates, but always hated deseeding them & never would have thought to "spank them with a spoon"!!!


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