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How to Section Citrus Fruit

For gorgeous peel- and pith-free citrus sections that add flavor and sparkle to fruit compotes, salads, desserts, and more, follow two quick steps.

This sectioning method works for grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, or any kind of citrus fruit. It makes the sections pretty and enjoyable to eat without the membrane that usually covers each slice.

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad

Peel the Citrus

Using a paring knife, cut off a thin slice from both ends of the piece of citrus fruit. Place a flat end of the fruit on a cutting board and cut away the peel and white part of the rind, also called the pith, working from top to bottom.

Section the Citrus

Holding the fruit in one hand, tip the fruit to its side and cut into the center between one section and the membrane. Cut along the other side of the section next to the membrane to free the section. Continue with the remaining fruit sections.

Tip: You may want to section the citrus fruit over a bowl to catch the juices that escape while sectioning. Make sure to squeeze any juice from the membranes after sectioning.

Using Sectioned Citrus

  • Quick Snack or Breakfast: Combine assorted citrus sections and top with yogurt and granola.
  • Chicken Salad: Add citrus sections and chopped cooked chicken to a green salad and top with vinaigrette made with citrus juice.
  • Black Bean-Citrus Salad: Toss citrus sections with rinsed and drained black beans, chopped jicama, chopped green onion, chopped red pepper, finely chopped jalapeno, and a little snipped fresh cilantro. Drizzle lightly with salad oil and lime juice to taste.
  • Cake Topper: Place slices of angel food or pound cake on dessert plates. Toss orange sections with a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of snipped fresh mint, and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Spoon on top of the cake pieces. If desired, top each with a dollop of vanilla yogurt or sweetened whipped cream.
  • Mocktails: For a refreshing sipper, fill a glass halfway with ice. Top with several citrus sections, pressing gently to release a little juice. Fill the glass two-thirds full with cranberry juice. Add sparkling water or tonic to fill the glass.
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