Ambrosia was originally the food and drink of the ancient Greek gods that gave them immortality, but in modern times it mostly refers to a fruity salad. It is one of those recipes like gravy, in which everyone has their own version.
It can vary from a wholesome salad of orange sections, chopped nuts and yoghurt to something covered in Cool Whip and garnished with Maraschino cherries and tiny green marshmallows.
As my passion is for local, preferably home-grown or wildharvested food, my recipe reflects what is seasonally available here. Oranges and grapefruit are abundant in the late fall and winter, when the pecans are ripe. This tends to be our calving season, when we have no milk, and therefore no cream, so I don't include dairy, making it a Paleo-friendly recipe as well.
My dad does butterfly research in South Florida, and will often bring home big bunches of coconuts, in various stages of ripeness. Coconut palms are a common South Florida landscaping tree, but the coconuts are usually cut off and set out on the curb for the garbage pick up (Here is a place for that saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"). We will often have fresh coconuts lying around, waiting for a patient hand to crack them open. However, if you don't find your own fresh coconuts, dried coconut works very well and soaks up the extra orange juice.
2 Grapefruit (I had one pink one and one white one on hand)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup grated coconut, fresh or dried - if using fresh coconut, pour off some of the citrus juice, as the dried coconut will absorb it. Otherwise your salad might end up too soupy.
1/2 cup dried wild plums, pits removed (or dried sour cherries)
1-2 Tablespoons honey, optional
1. Section the oranges and grapefruit into a salad bowl.
2. Add other ingredients and toss. It is best if you make it 2-3 hours ahead of time for the nuts, cherries, and coconut to soak up the citrus juice.
Notes: This salad will keep pretty well in the fridge for a couple of days.