Winter is slowly but surely turning into spring. I can smell it in the early mornings, when the air is still cool but the sun is shining. I can feel it in the weak warmth of sunlight through our curtains, glowing throughout the house just a little bit longer now with daylight savings.
This light little salad celebrates the in-between time of seasonal transition, the time when jackets are necessary but sandals are a possibility. The time in which meals enjoyed al fresco are a little too chilly to really enjoy but the lengthening days speak of the promise of cook-outs and picnics to come.
Bright, juicy grapefruit pairs with crisp, herbal fennel for sweetness, and both are balanced by the mellow cream of a ripe avocado. Freshly ground black pepper adds bite while flaky kosher salt ties the flavors together with a savory ribbon. It’s a special little salad, enjoyed in small bits as an appetizer to a larger meal or served alongside fish or grilled meats. It’s a dish that welcomes spring and allows winter her final days in the sun.
Avocado, Grapefruit + Fennel Salad
1 ripe avocado
1 small fennel bulb
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
a light oil, like high-quality olive oil, macadamia nut oil or avocado oil
This recipe really isn’t even a recipe – all I’m telling you to do is to cut the ingredients in a certain way. Halve the grapefruit and cut out the sections as if you were eating it with a spoon for breakfast. Reserve in a bowl with extra juice squeezed from the rinds. Halve an avocado, discard the pit, and cut the meat in cross-sections. This way, the avocado can be squeezed from its sheath in neat, firm squares. Gently combine with the grapefruit. Trim a small fennel bulb and shave thinly with a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer. Fold into grapefruit and avocado, drizzle with oil of choice, and sprinkle with shavings of black pepper and coarse salt.
Enjoy in the last rays of winter sunshine for breakfast, lunch or dinner.