Fresh, vibrant and a bit unexpected, this is a dream winter salad.
Before you make this, do ensure the avocado is ripe and the grapefruit is sweet. Otherwise, it won’t really work.
1 small head of lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
1 large red grapefruit, segmented (see instructions below)
1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced
10 fresh mint leaves (approx.), torn into small pieces
For the dressing:
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and pepper
Juice from the grapefruit (see instructions below)
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
Segment the grapefruit by first slicing off the top and bottom, then cutting the peel off, following the curve of the fruit.
Use your knife to cut out the segments in between the pith, folding the pith over like the pages of a book as you work your way around the fruit. Do this over a bowl so you can catch the juice. When you’ve finished cutting out the segments, give the pith a good squeeze to release the rest of the juice. Decant* the juice into a small bowl, leaving the segments to one side for a moment.
Now make the dressing. Add the vinegar to the finely chopped shallot and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the shallot and vinegar, apart from the olive oil, and whisk to combine. Finally, add most of the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Taste, and add a little more oil if it’s very acidic.
This will make more dressing than you need, but it will keep for up to 3 days covered in the fridge.
To assemble, add the lettuce, grapefruit segments and torn mint leaves to a large bowl. Add about half the dressing – or slightly less – and give everything a good toss. Transfer to two plates, then gently place the sliced avocado on top. Drizzle a little more dressing over the avocado, and serve.
*Decant: Often used improperly, this is a chemistry term that can be equally applied to cooking, meaning to hold back solids suspended in a liquid, and to pour the liquid away. (I was taught to think of pickles in a jar, pouring away the brine.) The more you know!