During the holiday season, there’s no reason to banish salad from the table, simply because the temperatures dip. Fall and winter offer their own salad delights, and many greens actually grow well in the chillier months because they can withstand light frost. In fact, the peppery green arugula used in this winter salad, actually prefers to grow when the climate cools off.
As an added bonus, grapefruit season kicks off in the fall and runs through late spring, overlapping with a wonderful partner, avocado, that should be ripe and in stores almost up to the year end.
Yes, they may seem an unlikely pair, but sweet, tangy, and slightly bitter grapefruit compliments creamy avocados beautifully. Topped off with an olive oil-based dressing and delicious crunchy pecans, this dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan winter salad will indulge everyone’s taste buds at your next family gathering.
This winter salad recipe was originally shared with us by the Georgia Pecan Commission, but it has been adapted slightly for clarity.
Special Diet Notes: Grapefruit and Avocado Winter Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian and optionally paleo.
For a nut-free winter salad, you can omit the pecans or use sunflower seeds instead.
- 1-2 heads Bibb or Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 bunch arugula, torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 Haas avocados, ripe but firm, peeled and cubed
- 2 ruby red or pink grapefruits, peeled and segmented, reserve excess juice
- ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- Juice from segmented grapefruit (approximately 3 tablespoons)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup toasted Georgia Pecan halves (you can toast them in a skillet over medium heat)
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- Arrange the lettuce and arugula on a large platter.
- Arrange the avocado and grapefruit segments on the bed of greens.
- Whisk or blend together all of the ingredients for the dressing, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the entire salad.
- Garnish with the toasted pecans and minced parsley.