Florida Buffet Ambrosia Salad

Chef Kris Wessel of Florida Cookery in Miami seaside, Florida, shared this Buffet Ambrosia Saladas a part of a Palm Tree Christmas menu he created exclusively for Epicurious. It showcases Florida oranges and grapefruits, which are at their peak during December.

Florida  Buffet Ambrosia Salad

Florida Buffet Ambrosia Salad


    • 1 coconut
    • 3 white pink grapefruits
    • 3 navel oranges
    • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
    • 1-pint kumquats, cut on a diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    2. Pierce the softest eye of the coconut with a metal skewer or small screwdriver and drain any liquid into a small bowl to sample—you should have about 1/2 cup liquid. (If the liquid tastes sweet, the coconut is fresh; if it tastes oily, the coconut is rancid and should be discarded.)
    3. Bake the coconut for 15 minutes then transfer to a folded towel on a work surface. Using the back of a knife or a cleaver, crack the shell open. Break the shell into large pieces and use a strong knife to carefully remove the flesh from the shell. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the brown skin then shave the coconut into thin strips—you should have about 4 cups shaved coconut. Reserve 2 cups for the ambrosia salad; wrap and freeze the remainder for another use. DO AHEAD: Coconut shavings can be stored, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.
    4. Using a serrated knife, cut the peel off the grapefruits and oranges. Cut the fruit crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds then cut the rounds into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a large bowl; add the pineapple, kumquats, pomegranate seeds, 2 cups coconut shavings, 1/2 cup coconut juice, and the apple juice, and toss gently to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled. DO AHEAD: Florida Ambrosia Salad can be prepared ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 8 hours.

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