There is a very good reason why grapefruit, in compotes or otherwise, evokes strong memories of peanuts and blue jays. Well, Stellar’s jays, to be exact. Summertime weekends were often spent at my grandparents’ cottage in the cozy enclave of Lion’s Bay, just 45 minutes north of Vancouver. My bedroom, sometimes shared with my two younger cousins, was tucked away at the back of the cottage, the windows looking out into the dense conifer forest. Several times during the night, the freight trains rattled along the nearby track, slightly rousing me from my deep sleep. It was a blissful and comforting sleep, gently brought to a close in the morning by the cry of the seagulls as they searched for their first meal of the day.
Mornings started lazily, each person sliding out of bed at their own pace. My grandmother was usually first, tending to the hummingbird feeders, carefully filling them with the homemade sugar water mixture that was an ever-present fixture in the fridge. Once my grandfather was up and rattling around in the kitchen, that was my cue to get up because it meant that breakfast wasn’t far away. As the coffee started jumping into the glass bubble at the top of the percolator, breakfast was carefully laid out on the table. Strawberry preserves and orange marmalade accompanied golden brown toast, which was made in the old-fashioned toaster with the flop-down sides. Soft-boiled eggs, sprinkled with a little salt, was my favorite part. That is, until the grapefruit was served.
Just as we started to cut through the segments of our grapefruit halves, inevitably a kurfuffle erupted on the verandah outside the front windows. Squawking and screeching, the Stellar’s Jays made their morning demands for food. I ran to the pantry, grabbed the peanuts, still in their shells and housed in an old, red metal tin decorated with pictures of spaniels and terriers. As I carefully opened the front door, the jays screeched and flew to the lower branches of the tree hanging over the verandah. They watched with their sharp, black eyes as I laid the peanuts on the long wooden railing, two to three feet apart. As soon as I stepped back inside and closed the door, chaos ensued. There was no mercy. It was every bird for him or her feathery self until all of the peanuts were consumed or shuttled off to be stored for winter.
Now, I can’t guarantee a bird show worthy of the nature channel when you make this compote, but I can tell you that it is a refreshing way to start the day. The fruit juices are quickly simmered with strips of ginger and a touch of agave nectar and then gently folded into the citrus segments. The compote can be eaten “as is”, but is lovely when topped with Greek yogurt, studded with minced crystallized ginger and lightly sweetened with agave nectar (or honey).
Peel and segment grapefruits and oranges (see How to: Segment an Orange) over a small saucepan so that the juices the juices are reserved.
After segmenting the fruit, squeeze the remaining juice into the saucepan. Cut the segments in half and place in a bowl. Add 1 ½ teaspoon agave nectar (or honey) and ginger slices to the juices in the saucepan.
Set the saucepan over medium heat and heat, stirring constantly, until the agave dissolves. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool. Remove the ginger slices and pour the syrup over the fruit. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon agave nectar (or honey) and crystallized ginger.
Divide the grapefruit mixture between 4 bowls and dollop some yogurt mixture over each one. Serve.
Other recipes with grapefruit:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Glazed Pink Grapefruit Quick Bread
Smith Bites; Grapefruit Champagne Punch with Lemon Thyme
Healthy Green Kitchen’s Savory Pink Grapefruit Salad
A Duck’s Oven Lemon Yogurt Cake with Grapefruit Glaze
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
- 2 pink grapefruits
- 3 navel oranges
- 2 tsp agave nectar, divided
- ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp minced crystallized ginger
- Peel and segment grapefruits and oranges over a small saucepan so that the juices the juices are reserved.
- After segmenting the fruit, squeeze the remaining juice into the saucepan.
- Cut the segments in half and place in a bowl.
- Add 1 ½ teaspoon agave nectar and ginger slices to the juices in the saucepan.
- Set the saucepan over medium heat and heat, stirring constantly, until the agave dissolves. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool.
- Remove the ginger slices and pour the syrup over the fruit. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon agave nectar and crystallized ginger.
- Dive the grapefruit mixture between 4 bowls and dollop some yogurt mixture over each one. Serve.