Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Avocado and Red Grapefruit Salad

With 20 pounds of grapefruits to consume from our trip out to Anza Borrego, I went in search of recipes online.  I hit up all my favorite food blogs, but for most of them, an entry of "grapefruit" in the search box came up with a short list of zero recipes.  Even searching on common cooking sites returned only a handful recipes, and many of them were not to my liking.  I quickly realized that the grapefruit seems to be the black sheep of the citrus family. 

I wonder why this fruit has such a stigma?  Though the outside of a grapefruit is often misshapen, the waxy rind always greets you with a cheerful blush and hides a jewel-like treasure of fruit within.  Even the delicate pink juice is a special treat.   

Since my random recipe searches online were leaving me less than satisfied, I racked my brain and recalled that I had seen a great recipe in one of my Bon Appetit magazines for an avocado and grapefruit salad.  I searched the website and came up with this.  It was strange, the photo did seem the same as I had remembered, but I was sure it was the right recipe.  I was a little discouraged, because frankly, the photo really did not look appetizing to me at all.  Now I know that outer beauty isn't everything, but surely wanting my food to look good as well as taste good is not a crime.  I decided to give this recipe a go, with a few modifications to fit my tastes and to make the dish more aesthetically pleasing to showcase these gorgeous grapefruits.  

I especially disliked that the recipe suggested slicing the grapefruits cross-wise into four slices; this leaves the eater with cumbersome membranes and a wide grapefruit "steak" to cut as they are eating the salad.  Not pleasant.  Instead, I thought that if I segemented the grapefruits, the dish would look much prettier and each little fruit would be a perfect forkful.  And in case you don't want to read until the end of this post, I will save you the suspense: I was right, as usual. :) The salad was beautiful, and the segments were so easy to eat.  

Since I had never segmented citrus before, I also thought it would be a chance for me to learn a new kitchen skill.  Coincidentally, my good friend and fellow food-blogger Jill had just segmented oranges for her monthly Daring Bakers Challenge and she posted a link to a video on how to segment citrus.  After watching the video just once, slicing out almost-perfect grapefruit segments was a breeze. (Ok, so they would not have even come close to passing inspection in a quickfire challenge on Top Chef, but for my first effort I was thoroughly pleased.)     

Assembling the rest of the salad was oh-so-easy, and also filled with beautiful colors.  Slices of emerald avocados, tiny pieces of magenta shallots, and a dressing like translucent citrine that was dotted with cracked coriander. 

When all was said and done, I was really glad that I had not given up on this recipe.  The flavors were so fresh, and the juicy grapefruits really got to shine.  It was also so quick and easy to prepare, as I suppose it should be, since it was originally featured in the "fast, fresh, and easy" section of the Bon Appetit magazine.  My boyfriend and I ate this with the marinated roasted pork from Pork Char Siu Men, and the flavors complimented each other absolutely perfectly.  I can't wait to make this again in June or July when I really need a refreshing summer salad to beat the heat.

Avocado and Red Grapefruit Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2008

2 Ruby Red grapefruits
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2  teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fresh coriander seeds, cracked
2 small avocados
2-3 cups mixed baby greens

Using a sharp knife, segment both grapefruits, and reserve membranes and cores.  For instruction on segmenting, watch the video here.  Squeeze the reserved grapefruit cores and membranes over a small bowl to release the juices, likely about 2-3 tablespoons depending on how juicy your grapefruits are.  To the same bowl, add the olive oil and the next 6 ingredients and whisk together to make the dressing. 

Next, halve, pit, peel, and slice the avocados length-wise.  Arrange the grapefruit segments and avocado slices on a plate, and serve with a portion of baby greens.  Drizzle dressing over entire plate to taste.   


  1. Great recipe, unfortunately I hate avocados....hahaha

  2. I should try this one! I love both avocado and grapefruits (oh, and coriander!) - this sounds like the perfect marriage to me :)!

    You should share your pie recipe as well, it was so delicious!

  3. Melanie-ask and you shall receive. :) Look for a post later on next week!

  4. Looks like a perfect recipe for spring - will definitely have to try this!

  5. Insect problem of the serious problems that we face in everyday life, you'd better pest control company in Dammam achievement tops company continues to please visit us on our website
    شركة قمم الانجاز