The Grapefruit Salad Padma Lakshmi Serves In The Winter

Eating seasonal foods (for fun) has gained a bigger following than ever before. While it was the norm for most of the world for centuries (and still is in some cases), the concept is somewhat new to modern Americans. Here, if we want tomatoes and strawberries in January, we just pick them up at the store. But they've likely been grown and flown in from a distant country and possibly picked before they're fully ripe to allow for transportation time. Eating seasonal ingredients is sustainable and allows you to enjoy produce at the peak of its freshness, per Seasonal Food Guide. Chefs and people in the food world, like Padma Lakshmi, take the idea seriously.

According to her namesake website, Lakshmi is a long-running host of Bravo's "Top Chef," a producer, best-selling author, and food expert. With two cookbooks and an ingredient reference book under her belt, she is keen on bringing fresh, seasonal ingredients together to make delicious dishes which are often inspired by her Indian heritage. Recently, Lakshmi shared a dish she regularly prepares in the wintertime with her Instagram followers. It's not a soup, stew, or warming casserole of any type, but a bright, unexpected salad that seems more appropriate for warm summer days than frigid winter ones, but the ingredients are some of the best that the cold months have to offer.

Winter fruit at its finest

In her sunlit kitchen, the casually clad, flowing-haired Lakshmi presents a plate of grapefruit segments, via her Instagram page. She doesn't specify the variety of grapefruit, but from the color, it likely a Pink or Ruby Red. As she scoops on another wintertime favorite, pomegranate arils, she explains that she was inspired to create the dish from an orange salad she ate during her time in Morocco where she was filming a television miniseries. Lakshmi notes that she is so enamored with the salad that she makes it for breakfast, as a snack, as a brunch dish, or a fruity dessert. On top of the fruit, she drizzles a tiny amount of honey, a very light sprinkle of orange blossom water, and a dash of cinnamon, which is a wonderful, warming winter spice.

Lakshmi says her creation is "the best salad to have in winter," but warns her viewers to be particularly careful when adding the orange blossom water. According to Serious Eats, orange blossom water is water that has been distilled with orange tree flower oils. It tastes particularly lovely with things like cinnamon and honey, which is why Lakshmi opts for it, but while it's a lovely floral ingredient, she warms using too much could make your food taste like perfume. The salad looks cool, refreshing, and sweet — a perfect balance of ingredients and flavors that will remind you of the upcoming sunny days around the corner from winter.