This easy and flavor packed grapefruit and avocado salad over winter greens is the perfect light salad for a quick side salad or dinner.
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Grapefruit is hands down my favorite winter citrus. Although I love them all, the bright tartness and memories from eating grapefruit makes it no contest. I come from a family full of grapefruit lovers. It may have started farther back than I remember, but as far as I know, the grapefruit loving came from my grandparents. I learned how to peel and section out grapefruit from watching my grandpa meticulously peel and section out grapefruit for breakfast, grapefruit for lunch, and grapefruit for the fruit salad at dinner. As he got older and lost his eyesight, one of his few contributions in the kitchen was grapefruit duty. He’d peel a bunch leaving no pith or skin, all by feel. I think of him and our grapefruit memories every time I see a grapefruit or peel into one. Needless to say, grapefruit are my favorite winter citrus, no contest.
how this grapefruit and avocado salad fits into my lifestyle
While I need no excuse to buy or eat grapefruit, I usually eat it like an orange. I legitimately spend 30+ minutes peeling and eating a grapefruit. But I will note that I’m usually watching TV or talking while peeling, so it’s really part keeping my hands busy part enjoying one of my favorite fruits. As much as I love grapefruit, I don’t incorporate it into recipes, but I LOVE it in a good salad. Hence the grapefruit and avocado salad. Since I’m not buying as many berries in the winter (save a good Sprouts sale!), I’ve found other fruits to add to my salads, and grapefruit just makes sense. Paired with avocado, some crunchy bits, and a citrus packed dressing, it’s the most delicious and simple way to enjoy grapefruit.
How it’ll make your life easier
I like to rely on pantry staples in my salads. Nuts, seeds, crunchies, and vinegars that I have on hand. Homemade salads can have a bad rap, and one I totally understand and stand by, because they can be BORING. That’s why I rely on pantry staples because I can just grab random crunchy bits and throw them over the greens I have on hand. So for you, keep pistachios and hemp hearts on hand for 2 really easy, delicious, and exciting salad toppings. Plus, if you have citrus around (which I hope you usually do during the winter) and avocado, this is full on pantry salad. You’ll love how refreshing and smooth this avocado and grapefruit salad is, and maybe want to add the dressing to everything you can get your hands on too. Just sayin’
Quick Notes on This Recipe
How to choose the great citrus?
One surprising lesson I’ve learned about citrus lately is to let it sit. I can’t always let citrus sit (ahem I LOVE it & have zero patience), but if I can, I try to leave it on the counter for a few days to ripen just a bit more. You know when the skin starts to get a bit tougher and hard? That’s the perfect time to dig in, I’ve found oranges especially, to be packed with juice, sweetness, and overall goodness.
At the store, look for citrus with thinner skin, squeeze the fruit to feel how thick the skin feels. Usually thick skin is really soft, so if it feels soft, it’s probably got fairly thick skin and may be pithy and not juicy at all. Also pick citrus that’s heavy. The heavier, the juicier. And let it sit if you can. Trust me, it was a game changer for me last year.
The best ways to peel your grapefruit
I learned from my grandpa, you peel the outside like an orange, then grab a knife and slice the membrane (the one where the seeds grow) of each section. Peel back each membrane and place in a bowl. My grandpa was technical, meticulous, and great at it. He was an engineer, I feel like that explains it all. Anyways, I’m not an engineer, not technical or meticulous. I like to quarter the grapefruit, then peel the pith away. I’m not afraid of leaving a bit of skin on because just a bit won’t make your grapefruit overly bitter and will save you time. Instead of taking 15+ minutes to peel it, just remove as much as you feel you need to get the sweetness you want. Besides the pith probably has some fiber in it, so why not?!
Which greens are best?
Since the grapefruit and the avocado are both delicate, regular kale and other hearty greens won’t be a great option. Baby spinach and baby kale are both seasonal, delicate, and delicious. I highly recommend one or both of these greens under this grapefruit salad. Arugula would also work well because of it’s delicate leaves and peppery taste.
Why use orange in the dressing
I love mixing citruses. Since grapefruit is really tart, I decided to use just a bit of freshly squeezed orange juice in the dressing, it added a touch of sweetness while keeping the citrus forward flavors in this salad. It’s noticeable and delicious, but not distracting from the grapefruit. This is one of my proud cooking moments.
How do I make this a full meal?
I’m all about one pan or bowl meals. As great as this salad is, it’d be better if it had chicken or edamame in it to make it a full, satisfying, and delicious meal. But if not, it’s a great side salad for lots of winter dishes. So with that said, I highly recommend adding chicken thighs (because I’m so over chicken breasts!) &/or edamame to the salad. I actually planned on adding edamame to it, but didn’t have enough and didn’t want to go the store. real life.
Easy Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
- 2 cups baby spinach/kale mix
- 1 whole grapefruit, sectioned and peeled
- 1/2 medium avocado sliced
- 1 tablespoon pistachios
- 1 teaspoon hemp hearts
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
- pinch salt
- pepper to taste
- Layer all ingredients into a bowl in order of ingredients. Pour each dressing component on salad then mix all together
- I add dressing components directly to the salad to save time and dishes, but if you'd like to double it or mix separately grab a small jar with a lid to shake together.
- Add a large handful of edamame or 2 grilled chicken thighs to make this into a full meal
easy ways to repurpose this easy grapefruit and avocado salad
- You could cut up a couple grapefruit and store in an air tight container for quick access. Use it in this salad, as a plain snack, or with avocados in nearly any other way.
- Going back to the chicken thighs idea, I’m dying to marinate some chicken thighs in the simple dressing I made for this and turn it into a chicken sandwich with avocado and greens, and eat some grapefruit on the side (not sure how grapefruit on the sandwich would go). that sounds delicious!
- The marinated chicken thighs would also be delicious over rice with lightly sauteed spinach or other veggies. I’m just making myself hungry over here.
Check out my other fave winter salads:
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Let’s get chatty:
- What’s your favorite winter citrus?
- What would you add to this grapefruit and avocado salad?