While cooking, listen to this: Decisions (feat. Emily King) - Taylor McFerrin
When I was younger, my family went on a few cruises with my mom's side. I don't remember that much about them, but the majority of what I do remember is food-related (duh). Eating room service fries with my sisters and cousin, the insane art carved into watermelons and cantaloupes and, most notably, the nightly dinners in the dining room. These cruises were like, v. fancy, and so we would dress up in our finest Jessica McClintock (RIP) dresses and be served by very nice, very snazzy waiters. While breakfast and lunch were free-for-alls with buffets that could easily feed five times the amount of passengers aboard, dinner was a set menu with classy dishes.
One dish I remember was an appetizer of grapefruit and avocado salad. I had never had this combination before, and to be honest the idea kind of freaked me out. This was also way before the avocado craze, the millenial pink craze, and the pink and green color scheme craze existed.
My parents were really good about encouraging us to try new foods while respecting our likes and dislikes. When the avocado and grapefruit salad appeared on the dinner menu one night, my dad suggested I order it - I could always get something else if I hated it, since cruises are filled with literal tons of food. Well, thank you dad, because that salad was fantastic and now avocado and grapefruit are two of my favorite foods.
Years later, when I was asked to bring a salad to a Shabbat meal, this combination came into my head. Looking to round out these two ingredients into an actual recipe, I went to my happy place, Pinterest (you can find ours, filled with our recipes, black lipstick and fat cats, here), and found this salad. It is SO good, and adds more of my favorite foods, Brussels sprouts and tahina. Everything by itself in this salad is delicious, and when they combine forces it's like those scenes in 1990's movies where everyone powers up and changes costumes and gets all fierce. Okay maybe not exactly like that, but after eating this you will feel like a super hero, ready to take on any emails, dusting or terrible Tinder people that may come your way.
Love and meows, Rina
SHREDDED BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD WITH GRAPEFRUIT AND AVOCADO
Yield: 2-4 servings
Cook Time: 20m
Category: Salad, Vegan, No-Cook
Source: adapted from Home Grown Provisions
3 cups shredded Brussels sprouts*
2 pink grapefruits
1-2 avocados (depending on how strong your love for avocados is), cubed
¼ cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
¼ cup grapefruit juice (from your grapefruits, no need to buy!)
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons tahina
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛-¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more or less, depending on preference)
*Trader Joes sells pre-shredded Brussels sprouts, but you can also easily shred them yourself by cutting them in half and then, cut-side down, thinly slicing them.
Prepare the grapefruit: to segment the grapefruit, cut both ends off of the grapefruit. Place the grapefruit down on one of its cut ends, and slice off the peel, making sure to get all of the pith with it. Once all of the pith is removed, slice out segments by cutting next to the membranes on either side. What should come out is a cute little grapefruit slice. Do this with both of the grapefruits, and reserve the leftover core for the grapefruit juice needed in the dressing.
Prepare the salad: in a large bowl, combine the shredded Brussels sprouts, grapefruit segments, avocado cubes and sunflower seeds.
Prepare the dressing: in a bowl or jar, combine the grapefruit juice, maple syrup/honey, tahina, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
To serve: add the dressing to the salad just before serving.
To keep: like all tossed salads, this doesn't keep the best once it's put in the fridge. Never fear! When dressing the salad, only add dressing to the amount you need, and keep the rest of the dry salad in the fridge. When you're ready for leftovers, dress them then.