Grapefruit is the star in this super healthy, vegan, gluten-free, fresh salad. Strangely, grapefruit is paired with green olives. Yes, the ones in the jar with pimentos (manzanilla). The pairing goes well with dollop of ginger and splash of vinegar. Every single person I had test this creation was skeptical when I listed the ingredients and every one of them really liked it, one lady just texted me for the recipe. “It’s fresh and the romaine gives great flavor and crunch,” said another friend. When you’re making this salad, you’ll want to segment the grapefruit so the pith and membrane are not part of your final dish (that’s all the white stuff). Chop the bottom and top of the enormous fruit to make a flat surface and lay the fruit chopped side down to rest it flat on your cutting board. This is what you should do anytime you’re cutting a round fruit or vegetable to make it stable so you can safely continue cutting it. Then, using your knife, slice from top to bottom around the fruit removing all peeling. Your fruit should be a colorful, juicy ball of grapefruit. Using a sharp knife, hold the grapefruit in your hand, over your salad bowl and slice the grapefruit wedges in between the pith on each side to make a half moon of red. Place each grapefruit segment into the bowl. Continue until all wedges are cut. The grapefruit graveyard you’ll have left in your hand is called the skeleton. Squeeze the skeleton juice into a jar with a lid to make the vinaigrette and the peeling have a lot of juice too. Making custom vinaigrette is simple and can really help keep salad calories low. Many times the hidden fats in salad are found in the dressing. This salad is extremely low in fat and calories. The green olives are the only fat at 2 grams per 2 tablespoons. The olives are worth their little fat because they are an anti-inflammatory and may help reduce allergy-related inflammation. According to whfoods.com, “Olive extracts have now been shown to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. By blocking special histamine receptors (called H1 receptors), unique components in olive extracts may help to lessen a cell’s histamine response. It’s also possible that olives may have a special role to play as part of an overall anti-allergenic diet.” So many people that think “diet” think grapefruit. It is a low calorie, high vitamin food. Winter is the peak season for the fruit but lately they are ripe and refreshing. When you’re choosing your fruit, make sure it is bright in color and heavy that means it’s full of juice. You’ll find tons of vitamin C and A in red and pink varieties. They are also lycopene-rich which helps fight cancer. Another interesting grapefruit study at the University of Hawaii found if smokers drink three 6-ounce glasses of grapefruit juice (not the greyhound variety) a day, it reduced the activity of a liver enzyme that is thought to activate cancer causing chemicals found in tobacco. If you’re taking any medication, beware as grapefruit juice allows the medicine to stay in your bloodstream longer and may be dangerous. This refreshing salad is healthy and should pair nicely with some of the classic Easter dishes. Ginger Grapefruit Salad with quinoa 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked and cooled 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented 3 Tablespoons green olives with pimento, sliced 1 head of romaine 1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar 2 teaspoons ginger ½ teaspoon each Salt, Pepper, Sugar Cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork when cooked (drain or cook off excess water is there is any). Spread out on a baking sheet and cool in the refrigerator. Segment grapefruit and place pieces in the serving bowl. Save the “skeleton” for the vinaigrette. If the segments are thick, cut them in half. Toss in green olives. Mix in cooled quinoa. When ready to serve, mix in romaine and vinaigrette. Makes 6-8 cups. Make vinaigrette by squeezing the grapefruit “skeleton” juice into a jar- should have 1-2 Tablespoons. Mix in 1 Tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar. Whisk in 2 teaspoons minced ginger (I prefer the jarred or tube ginger for this recipe) and ½ teaspoon each salt, pepper and sugar. Close lid and shake. Taste test and adjust as necessary. Tracy Miller is a private chef and caterer in the Vail valley and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or log onto ColorfulCooking.com. Tracy’s culinary mission is to add fruits and vegetables to every meal.