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Be neighborly, enjoy Ruby Red grapefruit

Sherrel Jones sings the praises of an ingredient from Texas — the Ruby Red grapefruit.
BY SHERREL JONES Modified: February 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013

If you've been avoiding grapefruit thinking it was too acidic or sour for you, its time to give it a try. I have to say the Ruby Reds lately are fantastic — a word that doesn't begin to describe their beautiful sweet and juicy interior. If you thought it might go down better with a sprinkle of sugar, think no more. There is no sugar needed to enjoy this lovely citrus fruit at what must be the peak of amazing.

I have been having mine at breakfast with slices of avocado. It becomes like a soup in the cereal bowl with half a grapefruit spooned out with a serrated spoon and half an avocado. The avocado positively swims in the grapefruit juice. It is a great combination of texture and flavor.

Add a boiled egg and a handful of sauteed kale and I am so satisfied I might forget to have lunch. This little menu has become my favorite in recent weeks. All the more as I read something about grapefruit helping us absorb calcium in the right way as opposed to piling up in our joints. My knees speak to me often, and immediately shout eat more grapefruit.

I started down this grapefruit path in an effort to ward off any more colds or sinus issues but along the way found some great ways to enjoy this fruit of an often tart reputation. Put some in your grocery cart as soon as possible. They come in plain old regular, which has a pale yellow interior, pink which is so perky, but the Ruby Reds are a sure ticket to join the grapefruit fan club.

If my grapefruit for breakfast doesn't excite you, there's always lunch or dinner and let's not rule out snacks even dessert. I've even found the peeling to be an appealing little garnish or sugared tidbit for savoring with a beverage or dessert. I'm thinking a simple grapefruit sorbet made with those pink or ruby fleshed fruits would provide a light and delightful ending to a heavy meal or a perk you up kind of snack.

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Jacque Pepin's Candied Grapefruit or Citrus Peel

Many zester tools have a larger blade opening for making strips. These strips make great candied peel for edible garnishing. Once candied, citrus segments or strips can be partially dipped in chocolate.

Strips or sections of orange or lemon peel

Cut strips or segments of citrus fruit. Place in pan of cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Let boil 30 seconds. Drain through colander. Repeat 3 times then return to a pot with about 8 cups of water and 1½ cups of sugar.

Bring peels to a boil then let simmer gently uncovered for about 1½ hours. The skins should be almost transparent and liquid like syrup will coat the peels. Transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet covered generously with sugar. Roll the peels around in the sugar to coat. Transfer them to another baking sheet to dry and harden for at least 1 hour.

Optional chocolate technique: Dip half of each peel in melted bittersweet chocolate (About 4 ounces melted in a double boiler with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil.) Allow excess chocolate to drip off each piece then arrange on wax paper or oiled baking sheet. Let them set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Serve or store in refrigerator until ready to gift or garnish.

Cooking notes: Strips and sections of peel can include some of the white cottony part just underneath the outer flesh. Store strips and segments of peeling to be candied in a sealed jar or plastic bag for a few days in the refrigerator until ready for the sugaring technique.

Source: Adapted from “Everyday Cooking with Jacque Pepin” (Harper & Row c. 1982)

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

This one is great on most any salads with citrus. My favorite is grapefruit, shrimp or chicken with avocado slices arranged over a bed of lettuce.

(Makes 4 servings)

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice

1 tablespoon raspberry or red wine vinegar

1 or 2 teaspoons honey depending on sweetness of any fruit used in salad

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ cup grape seed or olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together until mixture thickens and emulsifies. Drizzle over your favorite lettuce, fruit or vegetable and meat combination.

Cooking note: Add a dash of hot sauce if you like or crushed pink peppercorns in place of cumin.


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