In winter and early spring, grapefruits are plentiful and can be a refreshing addition to any salad. Sweet-tart pink grapefruit transforms slightly bitter endive into a delicate, well-rounded, and delicious salad. I love Belgian endive (a.k.a escarole or witloof chicory) raw, for it’s crunchy, faint bitter taste that is at the same time tangy and sophisticated. Really, it varies depending on how it is prepared and typically the lighter the leaves are, the less bitter they are. When served in salads, it is best balanced out in some way with a something sweet, such as apples or oranges. In this case, tossing in some fresh raw peas adds a splash of color and a nice sweet and crunchy texture to this refreshing salad. If you prefer, use blanched peas – personally I like their fresh tasty crunch, as it reminds of summers as a kid eating peas straight from the pod, directly from the garden.
By the way, did you know this citrus fruit got its name, grapefruit, because it grows on the tree in clusters, like grapes? That’s right, there are sometimes as many as 25 fruits in a cluster hang from a tree. If you want to experience the grapefruit’s full puckering potential, then go light on the sugar, or skip it all together!
Refreshing and light, this salad is the perfect way to showcase (and savor!) both endive and grapefruit.
Belgian Endive with Pink Grapefruit Salad
4 heads Belgian endive, sliced crosswise (working your way down to the core, cores discarded) ( I used a mix of red and white)
1 pink grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and juices reserved
1 small container natural Greek-style yogurt (150 g)
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar (I recommend GEPA organic raw cane sugar Mascobado)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1. Remove the skin from the grapefruit, then segment it into filets, catching any excess juice in a bowl (reserve the juice).
2. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon (or more) of the reserved grapefruit juice with the yogurt and sugar.
3. Toss the the endive, grapefruit, and cilantro with the dressing until coated.