Blood Orange Citrus Salad with Honey, Basil and Sea Salt


Winter in San Antonio has been…not terrible. While the poor East Coast is getting Snowzilla’ed, we’re outside enjoying the sunshine. And Central Market is currently having their Citrus Celebration, which features about 60 different kinds of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, etc. It’s beautiful and delicious and makes me happy every time I set foot in that store.

This salad is perfect as either an appetizer or a dessert. Blood oranges are seasonal, and sweeter than a typical orange, but the addition of a little drizzle of honey, some flaked citrus salt (if you have it, if not, regular salt will work too) and some julienned basil is the most amazing combination. So many flavors!!


  • Two blood oranges
  • Local honey, approx. 1 tsp. per salad
  • 7-8 basil leaves
  • Pinch of flaked citrus salt or regular sea salt
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the orange, so it can stand on one end. Then, carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut away too much of the orange.


2. Cut orange into slices, width-wise, and arrange on a plate.

3. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with sea salt and top with julienned basil. Serve immediately.


Look at all this citrus!!! Come on!!

Grapefruit-Basil Vodka Gimlet

This is what happens when you make things with what you already have in your fridge/freezer. Grapefruit? Check. A huge pot of basil? Check. Vodka? Check, obvs. Also limes, which have thankgodfully stopped selling for $1 apiece. This was seriously delicious, and refreshing, and had the added bonus of allowing me to trick myself into thinking that I was detoxing, because everybody knows that grapefruit is clearly a diet food. 

GRAPEFRUIT-BASIL VODKA GIMLET (makes 1 smallish mason jar full)
– 2 shots vodka
– 1/2 a ruby red grapefruit, juiced
– Couple of basil leaves, chiffonaded
– Juice of 1/2 a lime
– Splash or two of tonic water
– Ice

1. In a mason jar, add ice, then vodka.

2. Squeeze half a ruby red grapefruit into the glass, then use a citrus reamer to get the rest of the juice. 

3. Juice the lime and add the tonic water.

4. Chiffonade some fresh basil, then stir. Taste and adjust as needed. Oh – hello, summer. 

Caramelized Summer Peaches with Basil

Collyn made this when we were at Brigantine this summer, and it was so tasty it could have been a dessert, but light enough that we ate it as part of our breakfast. The sauce is basically a deconstructed caramel, and it complements the summer peaches really well – topped with some fresh basil (have the basil plants you’ve been finding at your Farmers’ Market this month been as crazily, awesomely overgrown as mine have?), this takes on a little more freshness too.

– 3 peaches, sliced into 1/4 inch wedges (leave skin on or off, it’s up to you)
– small handful of chiffonaded basil
– 3 tbsp. butter
– 3 tbsp. brown sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 1 tbsp. water

1. In a larger pan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring until it starts to get a little bit brown.

2. Add the brown sugar, and stir. Stir. Stir. Make sure all those sugar granuals melt and really incorporate into the butter.

3. Add vanilla, stir to combine. At this point it might start to look a little solidified. If it does, turn down the heat and add the 1 tbsp water. Tada – thin caramel sauce. Don’t taste this – it will be super, super hot and probably really burn your tongue. Not, of course, like I would know.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the peaches, mix to warm the peach slices. Chiffonade some basil and toss that in there too, mix it all up. 

This doesn’t keep really well, so make sure to eat it within an hour or so (which is prob. not going to be too hard to do).

Thanks for the recipe, Colly!

Chopped Chicken Salad with Summer Nectarines, Avocado & Feta in a Basil Vinaigrette

This is, clearly, the summer of salads.  It’s been so hot out lately that I can’t even think about turning on an oven, so here we are.  You can get pretty creative with salads – for this one, I had some leftover grilled chicken, and the rest was in my refrigerator. It was delicious. You can sub peaches for nectarines, but make sure they’re pretty ripe, because crunch of the nectarines was perfect when paired with the creamy avocado, the grilled chicken, the saltiness of the feta and the sweet punch of the basil vinaigrette. It doesn’t keep well (at all) so make as much as you’re going to serve at a time.

– 2 nectarines (or peaches), chopped
– 1 large grilled chicken breast, chopped
– 1 avocado, chopped
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta
– couple basil leaves, chiffonaded

Basil Vinaigrette (makes more than enough, so just use however much you need)
– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
– 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
– 2 tsp. honey
– 6 tbsp. EVOO
– little kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Ready for this? It’s super complicated.

1. Chop up the nectarines/peaches/avocado into pieces roughly the same size (approx. 1/4 inch), add to a bowl.

2. Add the feta, mix gently to combine and not bruise the avocado.

3. Combine the vinegars and the salt/pepper, then the honey, then the EVOO & the chopped basil.  Put a lid on it and shake it up (that doubles as life advice).

4. Top the salad with the dressing just before serving, then gently combine.  Top individual servings with the extra chiffonaded basil.

— It was hard for me to concentrate while writing this because I SWEAR TO YOU, STINK BUG BUZZING SOMEPLACE IN MY SUNROOM, I WILL FIND YOU AND YOU WILL BE MINE.  

Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad with Basil and Red Onion

It’s the summer of salads! This is so easy, so pretty, and so tasty too. I know the 4th of July is on Thursday, so if you wanted to throw in some blueberries you could make a red, white, & blue (and green) salad for wherever you’re going to celebrate. This is a crowd pleaser – sweet watermelon, tangy feta, peppery arugula. Yummo.

– 3 cups of watermelon, cubed
– 10 oz. baby arugula
– 1/3 c. crumbled feta
– 1/4 red onion, cut into slivers of half moons
– 2 tbsp EVOO
– 2 tbsp balsamic
– small handful of basil, chiffonaded (is that a word? the verb of “chiffonade”? Oh well, it is today)
– kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

1. Cut the red onion into slivers, then soak it for approx. 15 minutes. This takes some of the “bite” out of the onion, so it doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the salad.

2. After it’s finished soaking, pat the onion dry, and then in a large bowl, combine it with the arugula, watermelon, basil & feta. I’ve found the easiest way to cut watermelon is to cut off the bottom (so you have a little stand), then cut it in half. Then, cut the green parts off around the sides, using downwards cuts.

Like so.


3. In a small jar, add the balsamic, then a little kosher salt & pepper. Then, add the EVOO, and mix together well.

4. When ready to serve (this gets kind of soggy if you mix it too far in advance, so add the dressing just when it’s ready to go out to the table), top the salad with the dressing. Mix everything gently together and serve. Preferably dining alfresco with your wonderful family.


— I’m big on the post-scripts lately, I know, but I just want to thank MY FRIEND Klob for believing in so much and for his very generous donation.  You’re my favorite and I’m putting that on the internet for everyone to see!  Thank you my friend. I owe you dinner – I’ll cook.