Grapefruit & Avocado: a perfect pair
It’s like the perfect storm: in California, citrus is hanging off trees and avocadoes are primed for picking. It doesn’t take much imagination to put the two together, and create a fresh, but creamy, rich, but light salad, that can brighten up any meal. This is a salad that is particularly good with shellfish, or with any chicken disk that has some citrus elements.
Don’t be afraid to supreme a grapefruit. Getting rid of all that membrane and pith removes the bitterness, can convert those who turn up their nose at the giant citrus into grapefruit lovers.
This one really shines as a composed salad, with the lettuce acting as a base for the delicate avocado and grapefruit. It’s a beautiful color combination and allows people to get a little of everything on their plate. Tossing the salad can work, but the grapefruit/avocado have a tendency to slip to the bottom, leaving your salad bowl looking like a pile of butter lettuce. If you do toss it, make sure you manage the tongs so that your guests get a balanced portion.
To make this a little heartier, add goat cheese, or grilled shrimp (or both). It transforms it into a light and easy-to-prepare main course.
Avocado, Grapefruit and Pistachio Salad
- 2 ruby red grapefruits
- 2 avocados
- 2 tablespoons roasted, salted pistachios
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 7-8 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
Peel and supreme grapefruits by cutting in between the membrane, and removing the grapefruit flesh in sections. Squeeze the juice out of the remnants of the membrane and reserve.
Peel and slice the avocado into sections, about 1 inch thick. For a composed salad, slice the avocado about ½ inch thick and leave the slices whole. For a tossed salad, cut the slices into 1 inch cubes.
Rinse the butter lettuce and discard and tough outer leaves. Spin or pat until very dry. Tear into rough pieces.
For dressing: combine vinegar, mustard and reserved grapefruit juice in a bowl, add a few pinches of salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil until the dressing forms an emulsion. Adjust by adding more vinegar, grapefruit juice or oil to taste.
For a composed salad, toss the butter lettuce with half the dressing. Pile on individual plates or one large serving platter. Top with avocado and grapefruit slices and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle pistachios over the top.
For a tossed salad, gently fold half the dressing into the grapefruits and avocado until coated. Toss the lettuce with remaining dressing, separately in a serving bowl, then top with avocado/grapefruit mixture and gently combine. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve.