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Citrus Salad with Star Anise Syrup


1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 whole star anise
5 large ruby red grapefruit
4 oranges / blood oranges / Cara Cara oranges
1 pomegranate

Dissolve sugar in water in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring. Add star anise and simmer 5 minutes. Let stand off heat 20-30 minutes to steep.

Segment oranges and grapefruit (supreme method). Place segments in a bowl. Squeeze juice from left-over membranes into bowl.

Prepare pomegranate: fill a medium-large bowl with water. Cut off one end of the pomegranate and score around, or cut in half. Working in the water, pull apart the sections and release the seeds. Skim off the white membranes, strain the seeds and add to the bowl of citrus.

Strain syrup and add it to fruit; stir gently to combine.

Serves 8.

Chef’s Note: Can be made 1 day ahead, covered and chilled.

Download a printable version of the recipe here

Salad with Thyme & Honey-Roasted Pears, Pecans, Goat Cheese & Champagne Vinaigrette


About 6 lightly packed cups of greens: spinach / mesclun greens, etc.
2-3 Bosc pears (still firm/barely ripe is best)
1-2 T. honey
1 T. fresh thyme
Salt & pepper, to taste
½ small red onion, sliced
6-8 oz. goat cheese / blue cheese
1 cup pecans / walnuts, toasted

1 ½ t. minced shallot
3 T. champagne vinegar (Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar works well)
A few drops of Dijon mustard
1 t. honey, or orange juice to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
6-9 T. olive oil (taste as you go!)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Slice pears (or halve, core and fan out) on the parchment. Drizzle pears with honey, and top with thyme leaves, salt & pepper. Bake until just tender, 10-15 minutes. Let stand on sheet pan to cool slightly.

Turn oven to 350 and toast nuts: spread nuts evenly on a dry sheet pan and bake until golden and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes.

Slice red onion, crumble or slice cheese, set aside.

Make vinaigrette: put everything except oil into a deep bowl (shallot, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey / orange juice, salt and pepper). Whisk to combine. While whisking, drizzle in oil until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings / ingredients as desired.

Build salad: toss greens and onion with vinaigrette. Plate greens. Top with sliced pear, cheese & nuts.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Download a printable version of the recipe here

Proscuitto-Wrapped Persimmons


2-3 persimmons (ripe but firm)
3 oz. prosciutto
2 t. olive oil
Black pepper
Toothpicks or other skewers for serving

Preheat oven to 425. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Core out top leafy part from persimmon. Cut in half (top to bottom) then make wedges. Peel, if desired.

Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the persimmon wedge and place on sheet pan. Repeat until all are wrapped. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle on some fresh black pepper.

Roast for 5-7 minutes, or until prosciutto starts to crisp up. Remove, turn wedges over and roast a couple more minutes. Let cool slightly, then skewer, arrange on a platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.

Chef’s Notes:

  • Cooking the persimmons are optional! They can also just be wrapped and served. You may taste more “sweet” than “salty” with the uncooked version.
  • To make rosemary skewers, cut a few 3-inch sprigs from a rosemary plant. Wash sprigs and strip leaves off the bottom third or so (depending on the size of your wedges). Skewer finished persimmons with the rosemary. 

Download a printable version of the recipe here

Learn how to make these recipes by watching the cooking class below