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1.24.14 Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Honey and Chile Vinaigrette

1.24.14 Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Honey and Chile Vinaigrette

It may be hard to believe, but after weeks of eating soups, stews, and curries in an effort to keep warm, I found myself suddenly craving… a salad? I must say I was a little surprised. But I suppose it has something to do with salad’s fresh, green, brightness; something that seems to be lacking in these cold winter days.


Of course, trying to make a salad in winter is a bit more of a challenge than it is in summer, when the farmer’s markets and gardens are bursting with more greens and vegetables that one knows what to do with, and the salad possibilities are practically endless. In winter, one has to be a little more creative. But, all is not hopeless.


This is the time of year when things like citrus and avocados are in abundance. And one can make quite a wonderful salad using ingredients such as these. I myself have succumbed to buying so many grapefruits and Cara Cara oranges that I’ve had to employ some truly impressive stacking skills to get them all contained into one large bowl on the countertop. This leaning tower of citrus is both amazing and slightly treacherous, because taking a fruit from the tower requires quick reflexes and Jenga-esque maneuvers, lest the entire tower tumbles over.


Lucky for me, I was able to safely retrieve some lovely red grapefruits from their precarious perch to incorporate into this lovely winter salad. And to balance their tart bitterness, I added some creamy avocado, herbaceous cilantro, sweet honey, and a nice punch of heat from red chiles. Topped off with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas, and my salad was ready to be devoured. Which didn’t take long. It was the perfect refreshing salad to brighten up a cold dreary winter’s day. Not to mention, it would be a fantastic side dish if one were thinking of preparing enchiladas, or tacos, or perhaps this chili?


As a side note, if you make this salad and, like me, still have way more grapefruits than you know what to do with lying around (or precariously stacked as the case may be), never fear. Just use this lemon yogurt cake recipe, omit the mascerated strawberries and replace the lemon juice and zest in the recipe with grapefruit. Voila! You’ll have a delightful grapefruit yogurt cake for dessert before you know it.


Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Honey and Chile Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6


  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice  (squeeze from grapefruit core after sectioning)
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ of a red fresno chile pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • 5-6 oz mixed salad greens
  • 2 red grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 avocados, skinned, pitted, and cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • thinly sliced red fresno chile pepper and cilantro sprigs


1. Make the vinaigrette - combine canola oil, honey, grapefruit juice, vinegar, mustard and chile pepper in a food processor or blender and blend until a uniform mixture is formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Place salad greens in a large bowl, add vinaigrette, and toss to coat greens. Top with the grapefruit and avocado slices, pepitas, sliced chiles and cilantro sprigs.

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