Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grapefruit-Avocado Salad

OK, so the Super Bowl parties and Buffalo wings are history but Valentine's Day and Carnevale are still looming. With those February holidays come a plethora of temptations from cakes and candies to the ubiquitous fried cookies and treats found in Italy at this time of year. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to resist all these goodies. That's why I try to behave myself in the hiatus between all the indulgences.

This salad fits the bill for me for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I know there are more delicious concoctions ahead in the next few weeks that will be hard to resist. So I'm taking the opportunity now to lighten my eating habits in anticipation of the next great eating binges. And trust me, there will be plenty ahead, including a few decadent recipes in the coming weeks right here on Ciao Chow Linda. 

Join me for a week in Italy at the end of May and live like an Italian - sightseeing, cooking and eating in a villa located in the Alban Hills near Rome. There's still time to enroll. Go to for details.

Pink Grapefruit, Avocado and Pomegranate Salad with Nasturtium Flowers
Adapted from "Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume" by Silvena Rowe

(The plate in the photo is only 1/2 of this recipe below.)
  • 2 pink grapefruits

  • 2 large avocados

  • 24 leaves fresh purple basil

  • 1 large pomegranate

  • salt

  • 3 T. white wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 t. prepared mustard

  • 1/2 t. pomegranate molasses (I didn't feel like running to the store, so I used reduced balsamic vinegar instead)

  • 1 t. ground sumac (Williams-Sonoma sells it, but if you can't find it, leave it out.)

  • 6 to 8 fresh nasturtium flowers (It's winter in NJ and fresh nasturtium flowers are impossible to find, so I substituted candied violets and they were great as a sweet, crunchy contrast to the salad and dressing)

  • purple basil leaves

Peel the grapefruits, then cut into sections. Peel and slice the avocados, and deseed the pomegranate. I found it easiest to do this by cutting the pomegranate in half, then in half again. Hold each quarter of the pomegranate in the palm of your hand, skin side up, over a plate. With your other hand, take a spoon and rap hard against the outer skin of the pomegranate. Most of the seeds will fall down into your hand or on a plate you have placed underneath.  Arrange the grapefruit sections, avocado slices and pomegranate seeds on a plate. Mix the dressing: salt, vinegar, oil, mustard, pomegranate molasses and sumac. Pour over the salad and decorate with the purple basil leaves, and edible flowers.

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  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful salad! I wish I had it for my breakfast right now!

  2. What a gorgeous salad.
    I need some healthy winter choices like this. Pomegranate seeds make everything pretty!

  3. But this is decadent - look at the flavors and colors. It doesn't need cream, butter and chocolate to be decadent. It needs to be richly rewarding. Making.

  4. Wow! This is such a beautiful and colorful salad and the flavors must dance on the tongue.

  5. I think I could safely call this an indulgence!

  6. wow! everything looks so delicious! That salad is so fresh. LOVE IT

  7. Beautiful's citrus season here in Arizona so perfect timing.

  8. Dear Linda, that is a beautiful salad. All those flavors and gorgeous colors...perfect Valentine's Day! Blessings, Catherine xo

  9. Oh that salad looks so refreshing...It is funny ...but I have been craving salad and I just made one with avocado and grapefruit sections the other day...something about that combo is so very appealing!

  10. Dear Linda, What a beautiful salad. You are correct. There are many days coming up that the eating will be plentiful. This is just perfect to tide us over with. Blessings my friend, Catherine xo

  11. Gorgeous looking salad. I have been eating a lot of grapefruit this winter. It looks great with the avocado.

  12. That's a very pretty looking salad and I love any salad starring pomegranate seeds. Great use of ingredients!