Salad of Avocado, Grapefruit, Red Onion, Black Olive & Bibb Lettuce with Honey Vinaigrette
The perfect first course, side dish, or vegetarian main for summer entertaining.
This ILOC dish is simple to pull together and so very elegant to serve. I just love the colors, texture, and flavors. An ombré of greens flecked with pastel purples and blush pinks, dotted with black. It looks like a bouquet, and it really is. This recipe doubles easily.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; wet and dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; small mixing bowl; whisk; pastry brush (optional); small saucepan; strainer or tongs; small platter
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup champagne or white wine vinegar ½ cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste
1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, separated into leaves, washed/dried
1 avocado, skin and stone removed, cut in sixths or eighths
1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into supremes (membranes removed) ½ small red onion, sliced crosswise into rings, and blanched* ¼ cup pitted black Nicoise olives
1. First assemble the vinaigrette. In a small mixing bowl combine the honey and vinegar. Using a whisk, stir the mixture while slowly adding the olive oil until the vinaigrette it emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Organize the lettuce leaves on the cutting board from biggest to smallest. Arrange the largest leaves on a small platter or divided on two individual dinner plates. Drizzle lightly with some vinaigrette or brush the leaves with the vinaigrette using a pastry brush. 3. Add some avocado and grapefruits slices, as well as some red onion rings. Sprinkle with some of the black olives. Drizzle or brush with vinaigrette.
4. Repeat with another layer of lettuce leaves, avocado, grapefruit, red onion, and black olives. Place the tiniest lettuce leaves amongst the avocado, grapefruit, and olives. Drizzle or brush with vinaigrette. Season lightly with additional salt and pepper.
“ Nothing can overpower a dish more—whether it be a salad or a burger—than a raw red onion. Red onion is so delicious but often so acidic and strong. Not to worry! I have a trick for you that you’ll just love . It's about technique, not torture.”
* How to Blanch Red Onions
To blanch something is to cook it briefly in boiling water so that it softens, either in texture and/or flavor. Drop sliced red onions in a saucepan of simmering water for all of 20-30 seconds and you will have a softened and supple onion that has retained all of its flavor without its sharp stench. Drain in a strainer or remove with tongs. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.