Avocado Grapefruit Salad
Summer is slowly creeping upon on us here in Chicago. Although there's a sprinkle of rainy days here and there, the warm weather looks like it's finally going to stick around for the next few months.
One of my favorite parts about summer is eating out on our back deck, cicadas humming, good company, and a bottle of rose. Summer inspired salads are definitely a part of this fantasy, too. They're a great way to get in your vegetables without sacrificing flavor or creativity.
One of my favorite "creative" salads is my Buffalo Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch that's spicy, creamy, but still packed with protein and fiber. I love taking it for lunch, too!
I like to add a little sweet flavor to my summer salads since so many fruits are in season during this time. In my most recent Imperfect Produce box, I received a massive grapefruit, an avocado, and two mangoes. Citrus screams summer to me so I knew I had to find a recipe to incorporate this ruby-colored fruit into.
Combined with the peppery flavor of the arugula, the sweetness of the mango helps balance out the tartness of the grapefruit. The avocado adds a creamy texture so it doesn't feel like you're eating straight leaves for an entire meal, plus the healthy fats will help keep you full.
I wanted there to be more crunch other than the fresh arugula so I added pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds). The seeds also help to round out the meal with a portion of plant protein.
If you wanted to add more leaves to this salad, I'd recommend spinach because it has a pretty neutral flavor and won't clash with the other ingredients. Kale would be too bitter and the dressing won't be able to break it down enough to make it softer to chew.
For a more protein packed meal, I'd recommend my Mediterranean Lentil Salad, full of plant protein and healthy fats. It's perfect for lunch or a post-gym meal!
When a recipe's "star" is the combination of ingredients rather than the sauce or dressing, I prefer to not make the latter options unnecessarily special. A little oil and balsamic vinegar is a perfect salad dressing that will never over complicate your meal.
- 4 cups fresh arugula
- 1/2 large grapefruit, peeled & sectioned
- 1 medium avocado, cubed
- 3 tbsp pepitas or pumpkin seeds
- 1 small yellow mango, cubed
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- Optional: 2 cups baby spinach
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (or olive)
- 1 tbsp balsamic dressing
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- pinch of salt
- Peel your grapefruit and gently remove the outer membrane of each section. Cut each section into halves or thirds, then put aside.
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from your mango. Cut around the pit and cube the meat of the mango, also setting aside.
- Dice your shallot and cube the avocado.
- Combine the avocado oil, balsamic dressing, garlic paste, and salt in a small dish, whisking with a fork to thoroughly mix.
- In a medium to large salad bowl, add the arugula (and spinach if applicable), grapefruit, mango, avocado, shallot, and pepitas, gently tossing together. Add the dressing and gently toss again before serving. Enjoy!