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Perfect pairings: Grapefruit and tarragon

GrapefruitWe all have our culinary peccadilloes, and I am no exception. Those who know me well know I don’t like oranges. It comes up a lot. I’ve tried to overcome this olfactory obstacle, with limited success. Cara caras are tolerable, as are blood oranges when they are super ripe and sweet, but otherwise I am in no way interested in oranges. Yet, I adore absolutely all other citrus — lemons, limes, even clementines … but most especially grapefruit.

When we were in Palm Springs a couple weeks ago, the house we stayed in had two large grapefruit trees absolutely bursting with fruit. Most people prefer ruby reds, but I love regular white grapefruits, and these were exceptionally sweet and juicy. I rarely eat grapefruit, but I’ve been on a grapefruit tear ever since those luscious desert fruits reawakened my tastebuds.

Grapefruit’s fine on its own, but its flavor is complex enough to stand up to fresh, herbal flavors; in particular, I like tarragon. (In a pinch, good pungent sweet basil also works very well.) I’m not alone in this regard: Recchiuti Confections makes a grapefruit-tarragon truffle that is just to die for.

To use this combination in A Very Nice Salad Indeed, toss some red leaf lettuce, cleaned and chopped; a fistful of tarragon, coarsely chopped; several radishes, cut in wedges or thin slices; and 1/4 c. pitted kalamata olives, chopped, with a light, lemony vinaigrette. Cut the rind off and supreme two medium grapefruit. Plate salad, sprinkle with coarse salt and a crack of pepper, and lay grapefruit slices over the top. Guaranteed to please!

  • Hey, good combo. I’m currently serving scallops with a graprefruit brulee that has tarragon tossed in the mix as well.