This has apparently turned into the week of food I used to hate. I tried grapefruit a few times growing up. The first time was when I’d spent the night at my friend Jenny’s house. Her older sister Connie was eating breakfast when we wandered into the kitchen, rubbing the sleepiness of giggling late into the night out of our eyes. Connie was a mix between the really fun older teenager who you look up to and want to be like, and the scary older teenager who might do something insane at any moment that could get everyone in big trouble.Looking back with an adult perspective, I wonder if she might have been mildly bipolar, but at the time I just thought she was a little cool and a little crazy.
That weekend was one of her good ones. She had given Jenny and I pedicures the night before, and even let us try on some of her cool grown up clothes. That morning she was sitting at the kitchen table, two grapefruit halves on a plate in front of her. Next to the plate was a bowl of white sugar, and I watched in awe as she spooned a pile of sugar onto a grapefruit segment, scooped it into her mouth with a pointy spoon and then repeated the process.
“What is that?” I asked, staring at what I thought was a giant yellow orange.
“It’s a grapefruit!” She exclaimed excitedly. “It’s my favorite fruit but it’s only good with lots of sugar.” She held the other half out to me and pushed the bowl of sugar in my direction.
I decided to take my first bite without the sugar, I loved sour and ate lemons all the time so didn’t think it would be a problem. What I wasn’t expecting was the bitter aftertaste that assaulted my mouth. I tried the next bite with sugar but still experienced the same bitterness. I decided that grapefruit was just not for me and carefully my half back on her plate. thanking her profusely with the fear that returning her gift might set her off. Fortunately she just shrugged and went back to reading the comics.
Knowing that tastes change, I’ve tried grapefruit a few more times. I used to eat it regularly when I was struggling to afford food just because I could get it for free, but I never actually liked it.
So when I was invited to a grapefruit dinner at Spur Gastropub a few weeks ago, you might think I’d turn it down. But I was actually excited to try grapefruit again so brought my sister-in-law (another grapefruit hater) along for moral support and a fun sister date.
Fortunately our dinner was featuring Texas Rio Grapefruit, a beautiful sweet grapefruit, plump with ruby red juice and bitterness free. The chefs at Spur did an incredible job creating several courses that really brought out the beauty of the grapefruit. My favorite dish was the simplest of all, carbonated grapefruit slices!
I was so excited to find a grapefruit I love. Half a grapefruit gives you 70-100% of your daily value of vitamin C and contains lycopene and other nutrients. It really is good for you! I came home with an armful of grapefruit, determined to create a recipe with grapefruit as the star.
Around the Super Bowl, avocados are incredibly cheap so I bought ten of them. I found that their buttery flavor paired really well with the tangy grapefruit and decided a salad was waiting to be born.
In order to keep grapefruit the star, once I segmented the grapefruit, I squeezed the pulp that was left in the membranes to use the grapefruit juice as the acid in my salad dressing. For the lettuce, I chose a spring lettuce and herb mix, but you can use any lettuce or salad mix. By the way, the high fat content in this salad is from the avocado, which is a heart healthy fat that lowers cholesterol. If you’d like to cut the fat content back, split half an avocado between the two salads instead of giving each person their own half.
Do you like grapefruit? What’s your favorite way to eat it?
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 avocado
- 4 cups lettuce mix
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 3 TBS grapefruit juice
- to taste kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Segment the grapefruit.
- Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and thinly slice the the avocado flesh then use a spoon to scoop the slices out.
- Divide the lettuce between two plates and arrange half the grapefruit segments and avocado slices on each bed of lettuce.
- Whisk together olive oil and grapefruit juice then drizzle it over the salads.
- Sprinkle each salad with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Approximate cost/serving: In winter, when grapefruit is in season, it’s pretty affordable. Avocados go on sale around the superbowl and I get my lettuce in bulk containers during the winter to save money. This cost me about $2.50 for two salads so $1.25 a serving.
Vegetarian/gluten free: Yes to both, no changes needed.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.