I remember as a kid we always seemed to be fundraising for something. Girl Guide cookies, raffle tickets or boxes of citrus for band trips. I was never a massive fan of the fundraising but was a huge fan of the arrival of those big boxes of Florida oranges and grapefruit. Growing up in Ontario, Florida was a pretty common winter vacation spot for most of my friends. Maybe my friends got their fill of citrus on holiday, but the closest I ever got, or have been, to Florida was getting those big boxes of oranges and grapefruit. Makes me, almost, miss high school band…
I was a lot older, when I first saw grapefruit growing on a tree. I could not believe my eyes. Tree after tree so overloaded the fruit was falling on the ground around me. I gourged myself on that first trip. It was divine.
It’s not as easy to get beautiful, fresh organic citrus here in Vancouver. It is possible, but not easy. When I do find them I tend to go a little bit overboard. Eating them on their own at breakfast time, squeezing them into drinks at cocktail hour and adding them to a variety of meals. Is there anything as wonderful as freshly squeezed juice?
I recently picked up some gorgeous, but expensive, pink grapefruit at the market and inspired by one of my most used cookbooks, Canal House Cooks Everyday, made a grapefruit and greens winter salad. If you need a winter salad perfectly suited to both brighten up your cold winter blues and stop that winter cold in its tracks this is the one. How do you eat your grapefruit?
1 grapefruit (ideally ruby red)
1Tbsp apple cider or white wine vinegar
4-6 kale leaves, deveined and cut in strips
1 large, or 2 small, collard leaves, deveined and cut in strips
4-6 dandelion leaves, cut in thin strips
1 avocado, cut into chunks
2Tbsp flax seeds
1 clove of garlic, minced
4Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
red chili flakes to taste
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
optional: 1Tbsp organic honey
Slice both ends and the rind off of the grapefruit. Over a large bowl or deep dish cut around each segment to release it and let it drop into the bowl. When all segments are free squeeze any leftover juice from the fruit into the bowl.
Add vinegar, garlic, olive oil, chili flakes and flax seeds. Gently toss.
Add chopped greens and salt and pepper to taste.
Let sit at least 30 minutes to allow the greens to soften.
Add avocado chunks before serving.
Don’t hesitate to try different variations of greens. For a change try collards, escarole, rapini or mustard greens.