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“Stunning” and “Refreshing” would be the first two adjectives that come to mind when describing this Ruby Red Grapefruit, Golden Beet and Avocado Salad. Perfect for lunch or brunch as well as dinner, this super healthy citrus salad is bound to please everyone who lays their eyes on it! It’s love at first sight, but just wait till you take the first bite….
We are in the midst of January and Connecticut gets blessed with an entire weekend of high temperatures reaching into the mid 60 degrees! Thanks to that unseasonable treat, I’ve got Spring on my brain and a craving for sunshine, warm breezes, and dining al fresco with this light, refreshing citrus salad.
Sadly, Monday has now rolled in. The sun has been stolen by the more aptly colored grey sky and the chilly air has claimed back its rightful moment. All that remains are the memories of that blip of summer in January and this sunshine-inspired recipe for Ruby Red Grapefruit, Golden Beets, and Avocado Salad serves as my only tangible reminder of the balmy stay-cation the Northeast had this weekend!
Ingredients for Red Grapefruit, Golden Beet and Avocado Salad
Red Leaf Lettuce: I love the soft and buttery texture of red leaf lettuce. I think it compliments the delicate avocado perfectly. However, you could use a different type of lettuce, like Romaine, or even a pre-made bag of Spring Mix.
Golden Beets: How gorgeous are Golden Beets!? I would choose golden over red beets any day! They tend to be a bit sweeter more mellow in flavor intensity. This recipe calls for 2, and you will need to roast them first! To roast, simply wrap in foil with about a tsp of olive oil and bake in 400F degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
Ruby Red Grapefruit: I prefer the Ruby Red variety over white and pink, because I think it has a sweeter flavor and is less bitter. You will need to use a paring knife to cut away the outer peel and pith, which is the white papery layer under the peel before the flesh. Then slice the grapefruit horizontally, about 1/4 inch thickness.
Avocados: I go for Haas, make sure you choose avocados that are not too soft and not too firm. Because avocados are prone to oxidation, or browning, I would recommend tossing in the dressing to coat. The acidity from the dressing will delay the oxidation rate dramatically. This trick is especially useful if you are not serving right after assembling.
Goat Cheese: I used an earthy plain variety, but if you had a honey goat cheese that would probably taste quite nice. Feta would be a great choice as well. Or keep it Vegan and skip the cheese altogether!
Shallot and Chive Vinaigrette
Olive Oil and Minced Shallot: Due to the slight bitterness of the grapefruit, I didn’t want to make a dressing that was too strong. So I recommend gently sautéing the shallots with the olive oil to both infuse the oil and mellow the intensity of the shallots.
Dijon Mustard: Like any great vinaigrette, you need an emulsifier to hold the oil and vinegar together. Dijon is a classic choice.
Honey: To balance the acidity with sweetness.
Apple Cider Vinegar: For acidity. You could also use lemon juice.
Chives: For a little herb flavor, Chive is perfect to bring a spring-like green onion freshness, without overpowering.
Salt and Pepper: This is personal preference. You may feel you don’t need to add any at all. If you do, it shouldn’t be more than a pinch or so.
How to Make Red Grapefruit, Golden Beet and Avocado Salad
Make the Shallot & Chive Vinaigrette
Assemble the dressing first. Heat nonstick skillet over low heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and when oil is hot, add the minced shallots. Sauté shallots gently for about 3-5 minutes, till translucent and soft. Then, transfer oil and shallots to the mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Using a fork or small whisk to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to preference. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
In large salad bowl or serving platter, layer the lettuce.
Next decide how you want to layer the roasted golden beets and grapefruit slices. You can see that I chose to layer symmetrically with an alternating pattern, but do whatever speaks to you! Give the avocados a little toss in the vinaigrette before adding on top, if you are not planning to eat right away to prevent browning of the avocado. Drizzle the remaining dressing over salad and add crumbled goat cheese on top.
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Red Grapefruit, Golden Beet and Avocado Salad
For the Salad
- 4 cups Red Leaf Lettuce rinsed and roughly chopped
- 2 Golden Beets roasted and sliced
- 3 Ruby Red Grapefruits peel and pith removed, sliced
- 2 Avocados large dice
- 2 oz goat cheese or feta
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Shallot minced
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Chives minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat non stick skillet over low heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add shallots and saute for 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Transfer oil and shallots to mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper to preference.
- In large salad bowl or serving platter, layer the lettuce.
- Layer in whichever way you choose the golden beet slices and grapefruit slices.
- Toss the avocado in the dressing to prevent quick oxidation (browning) and add to the salad.
- Drizzle remaining dressing over salad and add crumbled goat cheese on top.
- Best served within two hours of assembling.