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Grapefruit and watercress salad

December 9, 2014

4 large grapefruits (mine came from Barry Farm)

1/2 cup maple sugar
 (of course you can substitute, but this sugar is great)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
 (try and experiment with different vinegars)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint (the apple mint seems to be the best for this)

1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan or Celtic sea salt)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 bunches watercress (about 6 oz), trim off the tough stems (we grow it in the aquaponics system)
A bit of arugula
 (it grows 12 months a year around here)
2 large ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I am afraid I have to import these)
Fresh ground black pepper
• Cut the peel and the pith off two of the grapefruits. Slice the grapefruit into 4 rings each and place them on a parchment-lined platter.
• Heat a skillet medium high, put the sugar in a bowl, dredge the grapefruit slices in the sugar and when the skillet is piping hot, panfry the grapefruit slices for 1.5 to 2 minutes each side, until they are golden and caramelized.  Transfer the grapefruit back to the platter and refrigerate. They tend to want to fall apart so be careful turning them and moving them.
• Juice the other 2 grapefruits into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, quickly lower the heat to medium, and simmer to reduce the juice to 3 tablespoons, 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer the juice to a blender and cool. 
• Make the vinaigrette by adding the vinegar, mustard, garlic, mint, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender and slowly pouring in the oil with the blender going.  Salt and pepper to taste.
• Combine the watercress, arugula, avocado, and enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad.  Mix carefully so the avocado does not become part of the liquid dressing.
• Cut the grapefruit slices into cubes. If you make them too small they will become mush.
• Divide the salad on serving plates and top each salad with grapefruit pieces and serve.

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