Grapefruit with Vanilla-Honey and Coconut

Each Thursday on Food52, Emily Vikre shares a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: Emily serves up fresh grapefruit with honey butter and toasted coconut.

Grapefruit from Food52

'Tis the season of good intentions, of swearing you'll keep a diary this time and be nicer to your in-laws, of renewing gym memberships and doing juice cleanses. There are few things that get my nose more out of joint than "cleanses." I'll spare you my lecture -- though I swear it's a really riveting lecture, full of trenchant observations and vehement pronouncements -- and just say that the idea that we can or should cleanse to somehow make up for eating badly all the rest of the time seems to me symptomatic of a culturally-disordered attitude toward food. Clean food and indulgent food aren't actually opposites, and I think we should take an approach toward food that is always thoughtful or intentional regardless of the season. Just think about what you want before you eat -- sometimes you find you really do want a piece of cake, sometimes you'd rather have the feeling you get from eating miso soup -- don't waffle between a free-for-all and restrictive cleansing.

>> RELATED: How to Make the Best Sweet Potato Waffles

Phew. Okay. That wasn't a lecture, was it? It was maybe kind of a lecture. Sorry. Anyway, here I am saying I don't like cleanses, and now I'm going to go ahead and offer a breakfast that looks suspiciously like cleanse food. Grapefruit is practically the poster child for dieting intentions gone awry, a dubious honor it shares with cabbage soup and celery. But in the dead of winter, grapefruit is also really, really good. I find eating grapefruit wonderfully invigorating, the way it gives you bracing bitter and juicy sweet all wrapped up in a single colorful fruit. And, after a week of eating cookies at most breakfasts, grapefruit was what I discovered my body really wanted.

Supreming a grapefruit in the morning may seem like a lot of effort, but I find it easier than trying to dig out all the meaty bits with a spoon. Plus it looks so pretty! I drizzled my grapefruit slices with a warm, caramel honey sauce flecked with vanilla beans. Then I topped it with toasted coconut to give it crunch and a little more staying power. Maybe it was cleansing, maybe it wasn't. It tasted fantastic, and I'm feeling ready for the New Year!

Grapefruit from Food52

Grapefruit with Vanilla-Honey and Coconut

Serves 4

1/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 ruby grapefruits
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 vanilla bean
Yogurt for serving, if desired

  1. Toast the coconut in the oven at 350F, stirring it a couple times, until it is lightly browned and fragrant, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut the peel and pith off the grapefruits - cut the ends off first, then cutting down the sides following the curvature of the fruit to remove the peel and the white pith. Then, cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments. Divide the segments between 4 plates.
  3. Combine the honey and the butter in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Remove from the heat and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the honey mixture. Stir the vanilla in. Then, drizzle the warm sauce over the plates of grapefruit.
  4. Top the grapefruits generously with toasted coconut and add a spoonful of yogurt to each plate, if desired. Serve!

Save and print the recipe on Food52.

Photos by Emily Vikre

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: Grapefruit with Vanilla-Honey and Coconut