One of the best parts of winter produce is the abundance of fresh grapefruit. Fresh Grapefruit Vinaigrette is a perfect way to zip up a salad and only takes a few minutes to put together. No need for vinegar, just grapefruit juice and a few other simple ingredients make up this tasty salad dressing.
It’s very rare that I keep a commercial salad dressing in the house. I’m no food snob (ahem, just ask the store brand ice cream sandwiches) it’s just that we greatly prefer fresh, clean-tasting dressings that don’t overwhelm a salad. I love that I can control what goes into my own dressings and can whip them up in just a minute.
With this technique, we’ll make a dressing without sacrificing any of the yummy grapefruit flesh. I incorporate the grapefruit pieces right into the salad, and that is a welcome break from the ho-hum lettuce, tomato and cucumber combos we all tire of quickly.
How to Segment a Grapefruit
Segmenting (or sectioning) grapefruit is the most efficient way to cut it up – it makes for the least waste. All you need is a sharp knife and a little technique. No need to juice a whole, edible grapefruit to make some vinaigrette, there’s plenty of juice in the inner membranes and peels to dress a couple of large salads.
The peel must be entirely cut away before segmenting. Cut off the top and bottom of the grapefruit, exposing the flesh. Run your knife top to bottom between the peel and the flesh, matching the curve of the grapefruit. Work your way around, cutting away vertical strips. Clean up the straggling bits of pith (that bitter white layer.)
Hold the grapefruit over a bowl to catch drips. Slip your knife alongside the membrane of a segment, from the outside to the core, then again on the opposite side of that segment until it releases. Plop the segments (otherwise known as supremes) onto a plate.
After you’ve removed a few, you can usually pop a segment out with a flick of your knife after you cut it free from the first side membrane. Repeat with all the segments the whole way around the grapefruit.
This grapefruit above wasn’t segmented very cleanly – it’s a little tricky to do it while trying to take a photo!
Squeeze the whole clump of remaining grapefruit membranes over the bowl to release all the juice. Some of the rind pieces will have a good bit of juice to give, too. Squeeze it all in there.
Mixing up the grapefruit vinaigrette
I prefer this dressing to be light and clean, so I don’t add much. You can add what you like.
To the grapefruit juice in the bowl (which will be approximately 1/4 cup juice) stir in the seasonings: sugar or honey or some sweetener you like, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat, like me). Feel free to add fresh herbs like chives or cilantro. Frankly, I never measure anything when I make a vinaigrette like this, I just eyeball it.
In relation to the amount of juice, use an equal or greater amount of oil. I very much like this dressing with a neutral flavored oil such as canola or grapeseed. I find extra virgin or regular olive oil masks the fresh grapefruit taste, but this is your dressing, so you make what you like.
Drizzle in the oil slowly, while whisking vigorously. That will create a beautifully emulsified vinaigrette for your salad. You could even just put it all in a jar and shake it up. Easy breezy. Once mixed, be sure to taste it and adjust seasonings as you like. Remember, it will be very thinly coated on your salad, so you want punchy flavor.
Store your fresh grapefruit vinaigrette in a small bottle or jar. Leftovers will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
Salad fixings: try to think about various tastes and textures when you put your salad together. To keep your salads interesting, try to include ingredients that are a variety of sweet, tangy, crunchy and fatty. Such as a fruit, a peppery vegetable, a nut and a cheese. Be sure to look through your leftovers and deli drawer of your fridge, not just the vegetable bin.
Today I’ve made a simple green salad topped with grapefruit, radishes, sweet yellow bell pepper and a few pecans.
Instead of tossing out your grapefruit bits, make whip up some Fresh Grapefruit Vinaigrette! And don’t you love that bowl? Stray Cat Pottery Studio makes beauties!
Other Salads & Dressings:
Fresh Grapefruit Vinaigrette
- 1 large grapefruit, preferably red (yielding approximately ¼ juice)
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- big pinch black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼-⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
- Segment the grapefruit over a bowl to collect all the juice. Reserve the segments for the salad. Squeeze the juice from the membranes and rind into the bowl.
- Into the juice, stir the sugar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Slowly drizzle the oil into the juice while whisking vigorously. Allow to sit for a minute then taste. Adjust seasoning as you like.
- Will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.