½ c. honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. black peppercorns
¼ tsp. dried crushed red pepper
4 whole cloves
3 medium oranges
3 mandarin oranges
2 Ruby Red grapefruits
6 kumquats (optional)
1 (4.4-oz.) package fresh pomegranate seeds
Toppings: extra-virgin olive oil, fresh mint leaves, sea salt
1. Bring first six ingredients and ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel oranges, grapefruits, limes and, if desired, kumquats. Cut away bitter white pith. Cut each fruit into thin rounds. Arrange on a serving platter, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
3. Pour honey mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids. Drizzle fruit with desired amount of spiced honey; reserve remaining for another use (such as flavoring iced tea). Top with a drizzle of olive oil, a handful of mint leaves, and sea salt.
*Pink or red peppercorns may be substituted.
Note: Salad may be made up to a day ahead. Prepare as directed; cover and chill up to 24 hours.
Removing seeds from a pomegranate may look tricky but with this tip, it’s not. Simply score the skin in wedges and pull the fruit open under water in a large bowl. Using your fingers, loosen seeds from the white membranes and allow them to sink to the bottom of the bowl.