Sweet and Sour: Great Grapefruit
Forget about Valentine’s Day — from now on, February should be looked forward to most because it also happens to be National Grapefruit Month! I know; it’s mostly considered a diet food because it has been shown to be a good source of vitamin C and, when combined with certain things, can allegedly kick-start weight loss.
And I’ll admit it, as a kid I thought grapefruits were disgusting. Sweet and sour at the same time, they left a horrible taste in my mouth and seemed to be a total pain in the ass to eat. If you went the easy route, cutting it in half, you needed one of those serrated spoons. If you went the slow route, you had to not only painstakingly peel the outer layer, but had to deal with all that pith. I would have rather eaten anything else.
Now, I have found my palate to be changed, and even though I still don’t own one of those special spoons, I love grapefruit. My favorite way to eat one is just peeled and naked, no sweetener and no pith. But raw and alone isn’t the only way to eat a grapefruit, and this beautiful citrus shouldn’t be pigeonholed into just being the stuff of diets. Let’s explore some different ways to get a grapefruit fix.
One of two ingredients in a greyhound, it’s been said that Hemingway loved grapefruit so much he created his own version of a daiquiri using light rum, grapefruit juice, lemon, and maraschino liqueur. Mix grapefruit with ginger and lime in this non-alcoholic version for a bright, kid-friendly drink.
Easy as cutting a grapefruit in half, preheating the oven to 375, sprinkling with a little sugar or honey, and putting it in the oven for around 15 minutes, you haven’t loved grapefruit properly until you’ve had it baked. Use brown sugar, maple syrup, and your broiler for more of a brûlée effect.
In addition to being a good star, grapefruit is an excellent player in tons of baking recipes. Think grapefruit macarons, Meyer lemon and grapefruit bundt cake, grapefruit tart, or grapefruit shortbread.
One of my most indispensable kitchen books is The Flavor Bible. If I haven’t beaten it into heads enough, it is broken down alphabetically by ingredient (and occasionally cuisine) and describes taste, season, techniques, and volume. For example, grapefruit is sour, light, and loud. It’s the loudness that really gets me — and a reason why it is so great in sauces. Whip up a kicky savory grapefruit sabayon to pair with grilled fish, a grapefruit aioli to match zucchini fritters, grapefruit vinaigrette for salad, or a grapefruit glaze for roast chicken.
There you have it; grapefruit for the non-diet.
Still not over Fat Tuesday? Check out this feast and prolong the partying for a few more days.
Looking for your favorite grapefruit varietal? Look no further.
Just one more — in honor of the recent pancake day — grapefruit pancakes
Enough! I have a pan of grapefruit shortbread cookies to eat.