Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad

Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad

Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad

A salad, is a salad, is a salad, right? Well, at some point in my life this may have been true, but today it is unequivocally wrong. When I was growing up, salad was made from pale iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, dressed with Thousand Island dressing. Do you remember those salads? I do, all too well! Today however, when I thumb through cookbooks or open food magazines, I feel a bit like Alice who fell through the looking glass! Salads are vivid and bursting with the flavour of exotic fruits, grains and vegetables. And the dressings! I could spend a lifetime sampling all of these scintillating dressings and never have to taste the same one twice!

Today’s salad is one that I found in “Plenty More”, by Yotam Ottolenghi, and made recently for a group of friends. Everyone agreed that it was more than “blog-worthy”. The dressing is a miracle to behold! Red grapefruit juice, sugar and chiles are reduced and then seasoned with tart sumac, which pairs perfectly with the grapefruit, watercress and basil.

I will be taking a big bowl of my salad over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday tomorrow. I think my buddies there will really enjoy this festival of flavours. If you haven’t joined us yet, I encourage you to do so at Angie’s blog – “The Novice Gardener”. While you are there, be sure to check out her wildly creative posts!


Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad


6 pink or red grapefruits (about 5 pounds)

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1 small dried red chile (use less if very hot)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon sumac

½ medium red onion, very thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)

2 or 3 small heads red Belgian endive, leaves separated and any large leaves cut in half on the diagonal (about 3 cups)

3 scant cups watercress leaves

2/3 cup basil leaves



Using a small, sharp knife, slice off the top and tail of 5 of the grapefruits. Cut down the sides of each grapefruit, following its natural line to remove the skin and white pith. Over a small bowl, cut between the membranes to remove the individual segments. Place in a colander to drain and gently squeeze any remaining juices into a small saucepan.

Squeeze enough juice from the last grapefruit to bring the juice in the pan up to 1 ¼ cups. Add the sugar and chile and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens and you have about 5 tablespoons left, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool down, then whisk in the olive oil, lemon juice, sumac and ¼ teaspoon salt.

To assemble the salad, put the grapefruit segments, onion, endive, watercress, and basil in a large bowl. Pour over ¾ of the dressing and toss gently. Add the remainder of the dressing if the salad seems dry. Serve immediately.

All dressed up with a show-stopping dressing.

All dressed up with a show-stopping dressing.


48 Responses to “Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad”

    • chefjulianna

      Isn’t it wonderful when we find a whole new bunch of flavours? This is what I discovered with this recipe! So glad that you like the post! 😀

  1. Johanne Lamarche

    I have a bagof sumac I bought for Ottolenghi’s beet salad. He is a magician with his combinations and never ceases to open my mind to new discoveries. Always bang on too. Will try this for sure?

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Johanne! I could just cook from all of his amazing cookbooks for the next 5 years…. I would always be happy and ever so happy and satisfied : 😀

  2. Kaila511

    I love your salad! I fortunately never grew up with those iceberg lettuce salads. And, my mum was big on fruity vinaigrettes, such as raspberry, which made me actually enjoy salad as I was growing up! Your pink grapefruit and sumac salad sounds delicious. I also love the pop of color that comes to the dish from the grapefruit. Happy FF, and have a wonderful weekend! 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Kaila! You are so very lucky to have skipped those ice-berg salad days! Salad is my favourite part of the meal and it seems like there is a growing number of us who appreciate all of the wonderful variations of salad!

  3. carolinescookingblog

    I agree salads have come a long way. This looks delicious, I love Ottolenghi’s creations. Such fresh flavors- sumac seems to be good in most things too. Definitely one to try! Thanks for bringing to Fiesta Friday.

  4. thehealthyfrenchie

    This looks delicious, I’ll be sure to try it soon! Really liking your blog by the way – I’ve just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      So happy that you are enjoying my blog! It is very kind of you to let me know and also for nominating me for this award! I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness! 😀

  5. nancyc

    This is a beautiful salad! I love pink grapefruit, but never thought of adding it to a salad–love it!

  6. Life Diet Health

    Julianna this salad looks divine.. and I’m not even a grapefruit (or sumac) fan! I’m sure my hubby would love for me to make him this… another thing to add to the list! Thank you 🙂

  7. Jhuls

    I think we call the pink grapefruit Pomelo. Is this the big one?
    It is so genius of you to make it as a salad because I just eat this pink grapefruit with salt. 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Jhuls! Pink grapefruit and pomelo are different fruits. Pomelo is not as sweet as the pink grapefruit, and the grapefruit is much smaller. However, I think they are in the same family. Why don’t you try making the salad with pomelo and let me know what you think of it! 🙂

  8. petra08

    What a gorgeous salad! I do remember the iceberg lettuce salads and agree, there are so many variations. I am just recovering from your delicious curry, this is another recipe saved 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Petra! Glad you can relate to my iceberg lettuce reference! Hope you like this salad if you find the time to make it! 😀

  9. wmoon11

    I have never tried sumac. I love to try new things, so I will need to try it! I love grapefruit in a salad. Beautiful photo!

  10. Pang

    This is TOTALLY blog-worthy, and such a fancy salad, Julianna 🙂
    I would definitely eat this refreshing salad as often as I can.
    Love it 🙂

  11. Experience Food Intl.

    What a lovely salad. I think sumac is so underused and this is a great combination. My favorite place for sumac is in the classic fattoush. I think your salad will be a new favorite.


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