Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.jpg

Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

My friend Libby Patterson remembers a jar of her mother’s homemade sweet vinaigrette always being in the refrigerator at home in Mobile, Alabama. It was the go-to dressing for all salads, and it was the way her mother transformed avocado, grapefruit and greens into a masterful arrangement of bright flavor and vivid color.

I shared Libby’s recipe in my book, Anne Byrn Saves the Day, and I’m sharing it with you here. It has been my go-to salad at Thanksgiving dinner and anytime where we need a big, bright, fresh salad to go alongside a roasted turkey or other important entree. It goes well with casseroles and freshens up the meal. And that vinaigrette is a good keeper in the fridge for a month, ready when you are!

Makes: 6 to 8 servings | Prep: 30 minutes

1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half

1 medium-size head Boston or Bibb lettuce
1 large pink grapefruit
1 large ripe mango
2 ripe medium-size Hass avocados

  1. Make the vinaigrette: Place the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the oil at little at a time, whisking to combine. Add the garlic. Set aside. Discard the garlic before serving.

  2. Make the salad: Rinse the lettuce, dry the leaves, and place them between paper towels in the fridge. Or, use a salad spinner. Chill the lettuce leaves until time to serve.

  3. Peel the grapefruit and separate it into sections. Remove and discard the membranes from the grapefruit sections, using a small paring knife to cut off the membrane. You will have 10 to 12 sections per grapefruit. Set aside.

  4. Peel the mango with the small paring knife. Place the mango on the cutting board and cut off large chunks from the wide, flat pit. Cut each chunk into slices about 1/8-inch thick.

  5. Peel avocados, and cut in half. Remove the pits, and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.

  6. To assemble the salad, line a platter or plates with lettuce leaves. Arrange avocado slices, then mango, then grapefruit. When ready to serve, discard the garlic, and drizzle 1/4 to 1/3 cup vinaigrette over the fruit and lettuce. Serve remaining dressing to the side, and chill leftovers.

Turn this salad into something even more festive by adding pomegranate seeds to the top.