Grapefruit, chicory & basil salad


This recipe comes courtesy of Mr Ottolenghi and his Plenty More recipe book. I always take a bit of inspiration from his methods and flavours but rarely cook a recipe word for word. This recipe below is basically identical in ingredients but differs slightly in quantities as I felt his 6 (6!) grapefruits would overpower the salad. We felt as though there was plenty of grapefruit flavour for two with this recipe. I guess I decided to cook this recipe because the ingredients are easy enough to come by yet this dish still feels exotic enough to be quite tempting. It’s also incredibly easy.

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If you’re thinking, ‘my word that salad sounds like it’d be really tart and bitter!’, fear not. The grapefruit juices are simmered with chilli, sugar, sumac and salt to achieve a dressing that is sticky-sweet and perfectly suited to the bold flavours of the chicory. The basil really helps freshen everything up and adds another dimension – this salad wouldn’t be without it. We enjoyed this served with grilled chicken smothered in tahini and honey. A big play on sweet/savoury going on.

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You will need:

1 1/2 red grapefruits
1/3 red onion, finely sliced
2 small red chicory, divided into leaves, large ones halved
100g lambs lettuce
1 tspn sumac
Good handful basil, torn
2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tspn chilli flakes
1-2 tspn sugar


1 – Start by preparing the grapefruit – just grab the whole one first. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top and bottom then carve the pith away from the flesh. Divide into natural segments and catch any juice in a bowl whilst you do so. Set the grapefruit segments aside.
2 – Now squeeze all of the juice out of the remaining 1/2 a grapefruit and add to the bowl with the juice already collected. Add 1 tspn sugar and the chilli flakes and transfer to a small saucepan.
3 – Gently heat the grapefruit juice and simmer til thickened, about 10 minutes or so. Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and sumac, then taste. Add the remaining sugar if need be plus a good pinch of salt to taste.
4 – Toss the remaining ingredients together, gently tumble through the grapefruit segments and toss with the cooled dressing. Serve immediately.


10 thoughts on “Grapefruit, chicory & basil salad

  1. I’m so glad you are posting Ottolenghi recipes. Good call on not using 6 grapefruits! You are filling up my “to make” list and this is a definite because I am always searching for new salads. Looks refreshing and delicious.

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