7 January 11 • SCB

Happy New Year!

January is a favorite time of the year for me. I do love the fresh start and the sense of possibility the changeover brings with it. Little by little, the days are getting longer, and I really notice and appreciate the change.

Still, it is often dark and dreary, and I find myself confined indoors much more than I’d like. As much as I love my root veggies and hardy greens, the food supply can start to feel a little heavy too. Which is why I like to treat myself to some favorites from warmer climes in January. All citrus tastes like sunshine to me; I’ve mentioned my love of grapefruit before—I eat it near-daily in the winter. Avocados are another treat, and they’re full of the good fats and minerals my body seems to be craving.

In late November, my mom served me a salad of spinach, avocado and grapefruit, dressed simply with olive oil and salt and pepper. I have been thinking about it and craving it ever since. So, when I was paging through Canal House Cooking, Volume No. 4 (a much appreciated holiday gift from MAV!) and saw a recipe for a salad of arugula, grapefruit and avocado, I knew it would be my lunch that day. Much like the salad my mom had fixed, but with a flavor kick of peppery arugula and a squeeze of lemon, it was a little sunshine on a gray winter day.

Avocado, Arugula, and Grapefruit Salad
Adapted slightly from Canal House Cooking, Volume No. 4

Below is the recipe as I made it which is halved from what appears in the book. This was a decadent lunch for one (an entire avocado to myself!), but would easily serve 2-3 as a side or first course. The original recipe also called for sliced radishes—a delicious addition which I did not have on hand.

1 grapefruit (I like Ruby Red)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 handfuls small arugula leaves
1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted and thickly sliced

Peel and segment the grapefruit and place in a small bowl (work over the bowl so all juice falls into the bowl). Add the lemon and olive oil to the grapefruit and season with salt and pepper.

Place arugula on plate (or divide between several salad plates). Top with avocado and grapefruit segments and drizzle vinaigrette created in the bowl over the salad.