Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

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.

Feeds 2

Ingredients

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

Method:

Segment the grapefruit by first slicing off the top and bottom, then cutting the peel off, following the curve of the fruit.

How to segment a grapefruit

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!

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