3 Simple citrus dishes

Grapefruit and avocado salad. (Jan. 2012) Grapefruit and avocado salad. (Jan. 2012) Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. ...

TIP Freeze the zest of citrus fruit to brighten the flavor of soups, stews and sauces. Grate the surface of the peel -- taking care not to grate the white pith. Store and freeze grated peel in small squares of heavy-duty plastic wrap.

Just when there is no more locally grown fresh fruit to be had, the best citrus heads north from Florida. Don't just use it for snacks and dessert, as citrus adds robust, exciting flavor to savory dishes. 

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GRAPEFRUIT-AVOCADO SALAD 

2 large grapefruits

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 cups arugula

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 avocado, cut in thin slices

1. Cut the peel off the grapefruits. Working over a bowl, cut toward the center of the grapefruit along both sides of each membrane that divides the sections, allowing the fruit to fall into the bowl. When all you have left in your hand is membrane, squeeze the juice from it into a second bowl. (You should get more than the 1 tablespoon you need for dressing.)

2. Whisk together 1 tablespoon of the grapefruit juice, olive oil, honey and salt until the honey is dissolved. Toss the dressing with the arugula and onion; gently fold the grapefruit and avocado slices into the salad. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 216 calories, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 150 mg sodium

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HONEY-GINGER-LIME CHICKEN 

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2 pounds chicken thighs (bone-in)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

Lime slices for serving (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a shallow baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Place chicken in a single uncrowded layer on the prepared sheet pan; season with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken in the center of the oven 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, honey and ginger. Brush the mixture over the partially baked chicken and return to the oven. Bake another 15 minutes, remove from the oven and brush the pan juices over the chicken; bake until an instant read meat thermometer inserted in the center of the largest thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees, about another 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with lime slices. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 366 calories, 30 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 393 mg sodium 

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SHRIMP WITH POMEGRANATE-ORANGE TOPPING 

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

2 large oranges, cut into sections and chopped in 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup chopped scallion

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili paste

1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Combine the pomegranate seeds, orange, scallion, celery, cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl; set aside.

2. Toss the shrimp with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and chili paste.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium high. Add the shrimp in a single layer (work in batches if necessary) and cook until the undersides are opaque and lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the shrimp and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until just cooked through. Serve with the fruit topping. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 217 calories, 25 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1281 mg sodium

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