An Unlikely Combo
There is something about grapefruit and avocado that does not produce an intuitive combination. My taste memories can’t quite bring those two tastes and textures together in my head even though I’ve been making this salad for several years. When served to someone for the first time I can always see a little question mark in their eyes; a little concern as they try to calculate what it’s going to taste like. But once they taste it, they are generally sold on it and wonder why they haven’t had it before. The resulting combination is wonderful! At my last brunch this was the most talked about dish; the one nearly everyone told me how much they liked it. And it’s really nothing more that what it looks like – pink grapefruit segments and avocado slices.
As you can imagine it is super simple to make although you have to be a little careful of your timing since avocado can turn dark and unappealingly if cut too early. But you can make the lemon vinaigrette a day or two before you need it and even prepare the grapefruit a day prior. The hardest part is segmenting the grapefruit and that is actually more time-consuming than hard.
Start by making the vinaigrette. This recipe makes a lot more than you will need but it will hold in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and can be used on any salad. It’s best, though, when used fairly quickly while the lemon juice retains its fresh flavor.
This amount will serve 3 or 4 people.
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Whisk together the mustard and lemon juice until smooth. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the olive oil until completely blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Prepare the salad ingredients.
2 pink grapefruit
2 avocados (I prefer Haas avocados)
Cut the peel from the grapefruit taking care to remove all of the white pith. Then hold the grapefruit over a bowl and cut close to the membrane (the part between each of the segments) on each side of the grapefruit segments, carefully freeing them from the fruit. If there are any seeds in the segment remove them at this time. You want to work over a bowl to catch all the juice that will be released. You can either drop the segments in the bowl with the juice or place them in another bowl. Either way you’ll want to drain the extra juice before mixing with the avocado. You can drink the juice or save it and mix it in a cocktail later!
Once the grapefruit is segmented slice the avocado. Ideally, you should do this just before serving to ensure the avocado doesn’t discolor before serving, no more than an hour prior. First cut the avocado in half. Take the half without the seed, slice a skinny, little bit off the top (the stem end). This will make it easier to remove the avocado from the skin in nice, whole pieces. Cut the flesh into four or five slices from top to bottom. Carefully pull the skin off the avocado slices and set them aside.
Remove the seed from the other half and repeat the slicing process, then do the same with the other avocado. Drizzle the avocado slices with some of the lemon vinaigrette. Very carefully toss the avocado to ensure the vinaigrette is covering the surface of the avocado as it will help delay the discoloration.
Arrange the avocado slices around the outside of a platter.
Drain any juice from the grapefruit slices and arrange them in the center of the avocado slices. If you’d like, drizzle a bit more of the vinaigrette over the grapefruit. And (or) you may also want to finish with a little sprinkle of sea salt.