I spent the holidays with my in-laws in Texas. My need for green food at nearly every meal made me the de facto salad chef for the holidays. I loved it! I had fun introducing Brian's family to some of my favorite salads. One night, my brother-in-law, David, made some terrific grilled cilantro shrimp. I knew not just any salad would do and so I came up with this avocado and grapefruit salad which takes advantage of what is in season and utilized the cilantro found in the shrimp recipe (I hate throwing out fresh herbs). It's citrus season, and Texas has some refreshing specimens called Sweet Scarletts. They are not too bitter and are perfect to add to salads.
I have high standards for salads, and this one meets all of them. It must be delicious with a pleasing ratio of bitter to sweet to sour to salty. The textures must be a lot of fun, and between the crunch of the nuts the pop of the citrus and smoothness of the avocados, this salad delivers. It must visually pleasing to the diner as this one is with its pink and green hues. This salad is one that can be served on a weeknight or for a special occasion - it's that versatile! Enjoy!
Avocado & Grapefruit Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 large Sweet Scarlett grapefruit or other sweet grapefruit variety
4 tablespoons pepitas / pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
1/4 - 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 - 3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Put a large handful (or more!) of spring mix in each of four salad bowls.
Cut each avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon onto a cutting board. Slice each avocado half into thin slices, and then place on top of each of the bowls of spring mix. There should be one sliced avocado half for each bowl of spring mix.
Peel the grapefruit, removing as much of the white, bitter pith as possible. Slice the grapefruit so that you have large circles and then cut each circle in half. Place 1/4 of the grapefruit slices on each bowl of spring mix.
Sprinkle each salad with one tablespoon of pepitas.
Make the dressing: Combine the cilantro, lime juice, honey, olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to emulsify. Taste. If it's too sour or bitter, add a little more honey. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing over each salad and serve.
Nutritional awesomeness: Avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium and folate. Avocados contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. Grapefruit is a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C boosts the immune system. Pepitas are a good source of Protein, Vitamin K and Iron, and a very good source of Magnesium. Vitamin K regulates blood clotting and helps transport calcium in the body. Lime juice is a very good source of Vitamin C and a good source of Potassium. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, among other benefits. Olive oil contains MUFAs, a healthy fat that can protect against heart disease.