Broiled oranges with cardamom, topped with vanilla ice cream. photo by Tom McCorkle for the Washington Post/food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

A half-grapefruit, served in its rind, cut side up, with a knife run around each segment, has an outsize place in my heart. My beloved grandfather often started his dinner with one, both at home and at our local diner, where it would arrive topped with a fluorescent-red maraschino cherry.

It was also one of my daughter’s favorite snacks throughout her childhood. She ate hers sprinkled generously with sugar, and she loved it so much she even had her own grapefruit spoon. I recently found myself with a few exceptionally large navel oranges and got to thinking, “Why not give oranges the same splendid halved-grapefruit treatment?” This recipe answers that question with an emphatic “Please do!”

You start by cutting an orange just as you would its larger, tarter cousin – in half crosswise, and then around each of the segments to make them easy to spoon out and eat. Running with the diner idea, you could serve them just like this, simply topped with a cherry, as a meal starter or as part of a brunch spread.

But a few sweet flourishes shuttle the orange halves into luscious dessert territory. Here, each half is spread with a mix of honey and ground cardamom, then broiled until bubbling and browned. (While cardamom is ideal because it amplifies the floral essence of the honey, cinnamon would work well as an alternative.)

Each of those warm, caramelized orange halves is then plated with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, an additional sprinkle of cardamom and a sprig of mint for an absolutely delightful dessert. Fragrant from the spice, the sweet oranges are made juicier under the broiler, and their warmth and caramelized tops are contrasted by the cooling mounds of ice cream.

It’s a quick, healthful dessert that’s inspired by nostalgia but is all about present-day pleasure.



4 servings

Active time: 15 mins. Total time: 20 mins

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.


2 large navel oranges


1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, plus more for garnish

1/3 cup vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


If your broiler is on top of your oven, position a rack about 6 inches away from the element. Preheat the broiler to HIGH.


Cut the oranges in half crosswise, then cut a small slice off the bottom of each so it sits flat on a cutting board. As you would a half-grapefruit, cut a circle around the flesh of each orange half, separating it from the rind, and then cut around each orange segment to loosen it from the membrane. Set the oranges on a large sheet pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey with cardamom. Evenly drizzle the orange halves with the honey mixture, spreading it on top of each with the back of a spoon.

Transfer the oranges to the oven and broil for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the oranges are warm and the tops are bubbling and nicely browned in spots.

Let the oranges cool slightly, then top each half with a small scoop of ice cream (a heaping 1 tablespoon), garnish with a light sprinkle of ground cardamom and the mint leaves, and serve.

Nutrition | Per serving (1/2 orange and heaping 1 tablespoon ice cream): 73 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 5mg cholesterol, 1g fat, 2g fiber, 1g protein, 1g saturated fat, 10mg sodium, 13g sugar

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