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Grapefruit Feta Salad

Grapefruit, feta cheese, olives…the ingredients in this salad may seem like a weird combination but they actually work well together. You get a lot of “ness” with this salad: the tanginess of the grapefruit, the saltiness of the feta cheese and olives, the crunchiness and sharpness of the onions and radishes, and the sweetness of the dressing. It’s different, refreshing, and complements heavier dishes like stews or curries.

4 cups mixed greens

1 grapefruit, peeled, segmented and chopped into bite-sized pieces; reserve the juice (see note below)

¼ cup thinly sliced onion (about ½ of a small onion)

2 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

¼ cup sliced olives (I used green but use what you like)

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp lemon curd

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

2 TBS toasted pumpkin seeds

In a large bowl, add the mixed greens, onion, radishes, olives, and feta cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon curd, salt, pepper and 2 TBS of the reserved grapefruit juice. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified (well-blended and slightly thickened).

Pour the dressing over the greens and other ingredients. Gently toss. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top and serve immediately.

Don’t Freak Out!

1) Once you segment the grapefruit, squeeze the membrane. You should get 2 - 4 tablespoons of juice out of it. By the way, I used ruby red grapefruit but use what you prefer.

2) I always keep a jar of prepared lemon curd in the fridge. Lemon curd is a combination of eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and usually butter that is cooked down into a thick spread. While it’s great on toast or with yogurt, it also gives vinaigrette a citrusy-sweet kick. If you don’t have lemon curd, just substitute the zest of one lemon and 1 – 2 teaspoons of honey. Or, make it vegan and use the zest of one lemon and 1 – 2 teaspoons of white or light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of date sugar, or ½ teaspoon agave nectar (increase or decrease the amount of sweetener you use depending on your personal taste).

3) Even though feta cheese and olives can be salty, I like to add an additional pinch of salt to the grapefruit itself—it ends up tasting sweeter.

4) Substitute roasted sunflower seeds, roasted pistachios, pita chips, or even chow mein noodles for the pumpkin seeds. By the way, I buy raw, shelled pumpkin seeds (called pepitas) in bulk rather than the salty pumpkin seeds that are sold as snacks. I just simply toast the pepitas in a hot, dry pan until golden brown. I allow them to cool and then store them covered in my freezer for up to 6 months.

5) Make it vegan. Substitute feta-style or parmesan-style vegan cheese for the feta.

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