The pink of shrimps and grapefruit with the green of avocado and arugula make a cheerful welcome in hot weather. To whip up a quick lunch, prepare the citrus dressing ahead of time and keep at room temperature. Right before lunch, follow the recipe to prepare the grapefruits, arugula, and avocado. Toss everything together with a side of toast for a light summer meal.

Serves 4 as a main course

  • 3 large pink grapefruits
  • 110g/4oz arugula
  • 2 avocados
  • 3-4 sprigs dill

For the dressing

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 sweet red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 125ml/4fl oz/ 1/2 cup olive oil

1. To remove sections from the grapefruits: Slice off the top and base of the fruits. Following the curve of the fruit, cut away the skin, zest, and pith so only the segments and central membranes are left. Slide the knife down each side of a section to cut it free of the membranes, letting the section fall into the bowl.  Continue cutting, turning the membranes back like the pages of a book until you’ve removed all of the sections.  Chill them and reserve the juice.

2. Wash and dry the arugula. Halve each avocado lengthwise, cutting down to the pit. Twist the halves and pull them from the pit. Tap the blade of a knife sharply onto the pit, twist, and pull out the pit. Peel away the skin and cut the avocado flesh into lengthwise slices. Brush some of the grapefruit juice over the slices so they do not discolor.

3. For the dressing: Whisk the reserved grapefruit juice with the lemon juice, onion, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper until mixed. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking constantly so the dressing emulsifies and thickens slightly. Taste, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

4. Shortly before serving: Toss the arugula with about a third of the dressing and taste for seasoning.  Spread a bed of arugula on 4 plates.  Arrange the avocado slices and grapefruit sections like the spokes of a wheel on top and spoon over more dressing.  Chop the dill and toss with the shrimps and remaining dressing. Taste, adjust seasoning, and spoon the shrimps into the center of the wheel. Serve the salad as soon as you can so the greens do not wilt.

Shortcut: Substitute a can of grapefruit segments for the fresh fruit and you may be surprised at the happy results.

Getting Ahead: The grapefruits, arugula and avocado can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead and kept, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Keep the dressing at room temperature. Assemble the salad just before you serve it.

On the Side: Some freshly baked bread or crisp toasts.

In the Glass: We’ve a lot going on here – tart grapefruit, rich avocado, peppery arugula. I’d suggest a mild, pleasant white Muscadet, or a rosé from Anjou just to the east.

From Good Food No Fuss by Anne Willan, 2003
Photo CREDIT: Simon Wheeler