A Prelude to Spring

Now that Spring is in the air, I guess that means it's time to change up what we eat. Sadly, at least in Texas, I think we've seen the last of cold weather and the hearty meals like stews, soups and roasted meats and we'll be making more salads and light fare.

Though, to tell you the truth, I'm in no hurry to give up my down comforter, cashmere sweaters and Dansko clogs and turn them in for thin blankets, t-shirts and flip-flops. So, being defiant as I usually am, I'm going to leisurely stroll into this thing we call Spring. On the other hand, with temperatures of 87 degrees in San Antonio on Sunday, we may have jumped right over Spring and dove head-first into hell aka Summer.

But because I've still got two Texas grapefruits in the fridge that are crying out for attention (and have been for quite a while), a citrus salad is on the menu.

I remember my grandmother used to combine grapefruit and avocado and while it seemed like a weird and unlikely combination, it was sublime. The sweet and juicy tang of the grapefruit juxtaposed with the buttery avocado makes for an extremely unique and memorable salad. So that's what we're doing conceptually, but with a modern twist.

If you want this salad to be a meal, you could easily top it with a piece of grilled chicken or several grilled shrimp. We served it with panko-crusted, pan sauteed strawberry grouper (courtesy of Groomer's Seafood) and black beans. David and I agreed that it was one of our top 400 meals.

In our book, that's a spectacular way to welcome warmer weather.

Buen provecho!

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
The Cowgirl Gourmet (http://www.thecowgirlgourmet.blogspot.com/) adapted this recipe from Shape magazine's November 2010 issue

Print recipe

The sweet, tangy and juicy grapefruit, peppery arugula, crisp endive and red onions and creamy avocado are an unbeatable combination. The orange zest helps balance the flavors of the dressing and together it all comes alive.

Serves 4

For the salad:
2 large ruby red grapefruit, preferrably from Texas
6 cups arugula, washed and dried well
2 ripe avocados, sliced thinly
1 Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Clockwise from the left: arugula, grapefruit, red onion,
avocado and Belgian endive

For the dressing:
2 Tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
Zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespons extra virgin olive oil

Cut the ends of the grapefruits and then carefully cut away the peel and pith, leaving the grapefruit. Using a paring knife now, carefully cut away the grapferuit seections from the membranes over a bowl, so you catch the juice, too.



Drain the grapefruit juice into a smaller bowl (see above left) where you will make the dressing. Keep 2 Tablespoons for the dressing and drink the rest! Add the vinegar, orange zest, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well. Drizzle the olive oil in and whisk until emulsified.

Mound a heaping handful of arugula on each of the four plates. Then divide the endive chunks, grapefruit sections, red onion and avocado and place on all four plates as well. Drizzle the dressing over each and top with a few more grinds of black pepper. Serve immediately.

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