Grapefruit is a relatively newcomer, having been developed a mere 200 or so years ago. It probably has its origins in Southeast Asia. Scientists believe it developed as a mutation of the pummelo, another citrus. Grapefruit most likely got its name from the way it grows— in clusters much like grapes. By the early 1700s, it had made its way to the West Indies, and in 1820 the first grapefruit trees were planted in Florida. Breakfast hasn’t been the same since.
Some crisp and chilly morning try cutting a grapefruit in half, sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoon of sugar, then run it under the broiler. While it is hot, pour 1 tablespoon dry sherry over each half and serve at once—a sparkling way to begin a day.
Grapefruit has an exhilarating flavor—succulent and deliciously tart. If you should find one is too sour, try putting a pinch of salt on it. It will taste sweeter.
Many lunches are brightened with this healthy fruit as well as breakfasts. Here are a few ideas:
GRAPEFRUIT AND SHRIMP SALAD
1/4 lb. small shrimp
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped scallions or red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3-4 drops Tabasco
Put shrimp in a pan with onion, parsley, lemon juice, wine, olive oil, salt and pepper and heat until sizzling, then remove from heat and chill. Peel grapefruit and divide into segments. When shrimp are cold, drain them thoroughly and combine with grapefruit segments. Fold into mayonnaise and season to taste with Tabasco. Place on salad greens, sprinkle with a pinch of paprika, and serve to two.
Another salad can be made by mixing sliced grapefruit, oranges and avocado with some red onion rings, a can of sliced black olives, drained, and small cubes of cream cheese. Serve on some winter greens, add a splash of French dressing and you have a refreshing salad.
Or make an overlapping circle of juicy grapefruit sections and orange slices, then tuck some curly endive in for trim. Pour over a mixture of sherry, lemon juice and honey in equal amounts.
Or make a honeyberry dressing by beating smooth 1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce, then stirring in 1/4 cup honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
CITRUS SALAD WITH A MEXICAN FLAVOR
8 small cooked beets
4 red apples, unpeeled but cored
2 grapefruit, 2 oranges and 3 limes, peeled (white membrane removed)
4 bananas, peeled
1 large can pineapple chunks, drained
1 head lettuce
Thinly slice the beets, apples, grapefruit, oranges, limes and bananas. Shred the lettuce and place in the bottom of a large shallow bowl. Arrange fruits over lettuce. Scatter chopped peanuts and pomegranate seeds over the top. Just before serving, pour 1 cup tart French dressing or 1 cup orange juice over the fruit. Serves six.
Mix 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, pinch salt.
GRAPEFRUIT AND ORANGES WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Combine the above ingredients in a blender. Then cover a large platter with 1/2 head of red leafed lettuce and 1/2 head of green leafed lettuce.
Arrange 2 pink grapefruit and 1 orange, cut in sections, 1 pear, cored and cut into wedges, and 1 cup red or green seedless grapes on top. Brush pear with lemon juice. Cover platter with plastic wrap and chill for up to 4 hours. Before serving, drizzle with vinaigrette. Serves six.
Grapefruit can be a sparkling finish to a hearty meal as well—simply peel and section one grapefruit and place in two dessert dishes. Melt 2 tablespoons marmalade, and pour the glaze evenly over sections, tossing gently.
And there’s always Ambrosia. Cut rind and white membrane from grapefruit and oranges, then cut crosswise into thin slices, discarding the seeds. Put a generous layer of slices in individual sherbet dishes, cover with a layer of shredded coconut and thinly sliced bananas. Continue layering, ending with coconut. Chill several hours before serving.
The succulent grapefruit perks up an enormous variety of meals, and can bring a taste of sunshine to an otherwise cold and dreary day.
HINT OF THE MONTH: Add a tablespoon of boiling water to an envelope of your favorite salad dressing mix, cover and let cool. The flavor is released immediately. Add other ingredients as usual.
Marian Platt’s regional narrative cookbook of Washington’s Sequim Valley, From My Kitchen Window, can be ordered by sending cash, check or money order for $25 (includes tax and handling/mailing costs) to Marian Platt, 434 Chicken Coop Rd., Sequim, WA 98382. Phone (360) 683-4691.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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