Speaking of Grapefruit Salad

The dinner at Spur included 1 cocktail with grapefruit juice + 5-course dinner, each course with grapefruit in it. I’d say, that is a bit too much grapefruit for one night.

To me, grapefruit is the forgotten/neglected fruit. The one most people walk by at the store without really seeing, the one no passerby would reach a hand to fondle. How many people have “grapefruit” on their grocery shopping list? Raise your hands.

I did not eat or drink grapefruit juice this winter before the 1/28 dinner. I do like grapefruit and it’s bitter taste—it’s… different than the other fruit.

Than I got an email from the grapefruit PR woman who arranged the dinner. It had a list of things one needs to know about grapefruit (and Spur’s salad recipe). I’d say, the combination of “Grapefruit” + “Need to know” caught my attention (and so did the recipe!). I have never put those two together.

The Top 10 things you need to know about Texas Grapefruit (Unedited):

  • 1. Rio Star Grapefruit, a very red, sweet grapefruit, is grown in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
  • 2. Texas Citrus is harvested October through May of each year. It is a winter fruit.
  • 3. February is National Grapefruit Month!
  • 4. Texas Grapefruit is the state fruit of Texas
  • 5. Grapefruit got its name because it grows in a cluster, just like grapes.
  • 6. The very first red grapefruit EVER was a natural mutation found on a pink grapefruit tree in South Texas in the 1920’s.
  • 7. 1/2 a grapefruit has 100% of the vitamin C you need for the day. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and keeps you healthy.
  • 8. Rio Star grapefruit delivers a nutrient found only in certain plants, called lycopene.  Lycopene is an antioxidant, which means that it helps protect our body’s cells.
  • 9. Rio Star Grapefruit is SO sweet, you can use it to make many different types of recipes. Salads, desserts, entrees…you name it!
  • 10. You can store a grapefruit in a cool area for up to 2 weeks or in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
  • If you know what’s your state’s fruit, raise your hand.

OK, so now that you know what you need to know about the fruit, we can move on to a salad recipe with some in it. Although, I admit it, I don’t believe that the “salad” + “recipe” combo go together. A salad doesn’t need a recipe. My salad philosophy is–Yeah, I really thought about it a lot—that you put what you like and as much as you like in your salad. You are your salad’s boss. Like arugula? Go for it. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Love blue cheese? Go ahead, get wild and use it generously. Hate it? Use goat cheese instead. Etc etc etc. It doesn’t really matter.

What I expect from a salad “recipe” is more a list of recommended ingredients with lots of room to maneuver and improvise.

Radicchio and grapefruit salad with nuts and dried cranberries

This is my short and simplified version to Spur’s salad (See below).

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 head radicchio (all I could find was chioggia radicchio that you see in the photo)
  • 4 handfuls arugula/sorrel/any leafy salad green you like
  • 2 red (red) grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
  • about 1/4 cup blue/goat cheese, crumbled
  • about 1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped
  • chive, chopped

Put all those in a bowl.

  • For the vinaigrette*:
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk, or shake in a jar, the vinaigrette ingredients.

* If you like a sweeter vinaigrette to counterbalance the bitter radicchio, try the orange marmalade one in my NY Times winning salad.

If you’re up to trying Spur’s recipe (unedited), here you go:

Castle Franco Radicchio Salad with RioStar Grapefruit

Recipe by Spur Gastropub, Seattle, Washington

Serves 4; prep time 45 min

  • 1 large head castle franco radicchio
  • ¼ lb French sorrel
  • 2 Texas Rio Star grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
  • 2 oz Oregon blue cheese, from Rogue River Creamery, slightly frozen to slice on a mandolin.
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 small bottle plum wine
  • 1 tbsp salted plum vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup 70/30 canola olive oil blend
  • 2 oz dried prunes
  • 1 shallot, very finely diced
  • .5 oz chive, thinly sliced
  • .5 oz picked parsley, very finely chopped
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste.

For the vinaigrette.

Place the dried prunes and plum wine in a saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat until prunes are rehydrated and softened, and the alcohol has cooked off. Place in a blender, add Dijon mustard and plum vinegar. Blend until smooth, then add oil slowly to emulsify. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed

For the pecans:

Blanch in salted water for 3 min, strain, pat dry and toss in powdered sugar. Fry in a shallow fryer at 350 until shiny, about 2 mins. Remove to a non stick surface to cool.

For the Salad:

Chop radicchio and sorrel into bite sized pieces, toss with shallot, parsley and chive. Toss in the dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Finish:

Place the dressed salad into bowls, garnish with Grapefruit, candied pecans and thinly sliced blue cheese.


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