GrapeFruit Uses and Serving Ideas

As a relatively new food, the grapefruit has made great advances in the past 75 years. In 1970, consumption of grapefruit was temporarily heightened by a widely promoted "grapefruit diet" plan claimed to achieve a loss of 10 lbs (4.5 kg) in 10 days and continuous gradual loss until the achievement of normal body weight. In 1983, the United States Department of Agriculture Marketing Service reported that, among fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in Metropolitan New York, grapefruit was exceeded only by potatoes, lettuce, oranges and apples.

Grapefruit is customarily a breakfast fruit, chilled, cut in half, the sections loosened from the peel and each other by a special curved knife, and the pulp spooned from the "half-shell". Some consumers sweeten it with white or brown sugar, or a bit of honey. Some add cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. As an appetizer before dinner, grapefruit halves may be similarly sweetened, lightly broiled, and served hot, often topped with a maraschino cherry. The sections are commonly used in fruit cups or fruit salads, in gelatins or puddings and tarts. They are commercially canned in syrup. In Australia, grapefruit is commercially processed as marmalade. It may also be made into jelly.

The juice is marketed as a beverage fresh, canned, or dehydrated as powder, or concentrated and frozen. It can be made into an excellent vinegar or carefully fermented as wine.

Grapefruit peel is candied and is an important source of pectin for the preservation of other fruits. The peel oil, expressed or distilled, is commonly employed in soft-drink flavoring, after the removal of 50% of the monoterpenes. The main ingredient in the outer peel oil is nookatone. Extracted nookatone, added to grapefruit juice powder, enhances the flavor of the reconstituted juice. Naringin, extracted from the inner peel (albedo), is used as a bitter in "tonic" beverages, bitter chocolate, ice cream and ices. It is chemically converted into a sweetener about 1,500 times sweeter than sugar. After the extraction of naringin, the albedo can be reprocessed to recover pectin.

Grapefruit seed oil is dark and exceedingly bitter but, bleached and refined, it is pale-yellow, bland, much like olive oil in flavor, and can be used similarly. Because it is an unsaturated fat, its production has greatly increased since 1960.



This salad can be made with any variety of citrus - or all one kind if you so choose. In addition, you can slice the fruit or separate into sections.

3 tablespoons mild rice vinegar or light fruit vinegar (see Sam’s Cooking Tip)
1 extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
   Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 seedless red grapefruit
1 tangelo
1 navel orange
1 avocado, ripe but still firm

1)Mix vinegar, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2)Peel and cut grapefruit, tangelo and orange into sections or slices. Halve and peel avocado, then cut into thin slices, crosswise.

3)Arrange citrus and avocado alternately (1 avocado slice for every 2 or 3 citrus sections) in a ring on the outside of a platter. Then form a smaller ring inside the larger ring. Pour dressing over and serve. Serves 4.

Sam’s Cooking Tip: I first made this salad with mango vinegar and it was terrific. The reason was that the vinegar is very low in acid (about 3%) with an intense fruit flavor. Mango vinegar is made by Consorzio and is available at Williams-Sonoma and better food stores. In its place use a low-acid vinegar such as a rice wine vinegar or another fruit vinegar.


Though this dish was originally conceived for sole, any mild white-fleshed fish will do. In fact the sauce would also stand up to a more robust fish as well.

1 grapefruit
1 tablespoon butter
2 sole fillets, about 5 or 6 ounces each
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
3 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons each, grapefruit and orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1)Peel and section grapefruit. Save the juice that accumulates and add to the orange and grapefruit juice.

2)Put butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Season sole with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Add sole and cook about 3 minutes on each side, turning carefully. Remove when springy to the touch and keep warm.

3)Add shallots and bell pepper and cook until shallots soften, about 3 minutes. Add grapefruit sections and juice. Bring to a boil and let reduce for a minute or two. Pour over fish and sprinkle with cilantro. Serves 2.


Grapefruit halves are as traditional for breakfast as corn flakes and just as boring. Here are a few ways to perk up this standby. Try not to fight with your spouse over the breakfast table to see who gets which one.

1 grapefruit halved and sectioned
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
2 teaspoon minced candied ginger
1 tablespoon rum
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1)Preheat broiler. If necessary, cut a small slice from the bottom of each grapefruit half to make sure it sits evenly.

2)Put halves in oven-proof dishes. Mix Grand Marnier with ginger in a small bowl and spoon over one of the grapefruit halves. Mix rum and brown sugar in another small bowl and spoon over the other half.

3)Run halves under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the brown lightly. Turn once during the cooking. Spoon over any excess liquid. Serves 2.

Sam’s Cooking Tip: There are a number of other combinations you can try such as bourbon and maple syrup.


This is a double twist on the normal ambrosia which is usually made only with oranges or Mandarins and never broiled.

2 grapefruit
1 navel orange
2 tablespoons Marsala or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt

1)Peel grapefruit and orange and cut into sections. Halve the sections, crosswise, put in a shallow bowl and toss with Marsala and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2)Turn on broiler. Beat egg whites with salt and remaining sugar until peaks form. Drain fruit, put into a 9-inch pie plate in one layer and toss with half the coconut. Spread meringue over fruit, sprinkle with remaining coconut.

3)Put pie plate under the broiler as far away from the heat source as possible. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn if necessary to brown evenly. Serves 4 to 6.

Ambrosia Crepes

2 oranges
2 oroblancos (grapefruit), peeled and sectioned
1 pummelo (grapefruit), peeled and sectioned
2, 8-ounce containers light cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
8 crepes, at room temperature
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Halve oranges. Grate peel from one of the orange halves; reserve grated peel. Squeeze out juice from one orange half into a food processor or blender container. Peel and chop remaining orange halves; place in a medium bowl with chopped oro blanco and pummelo grapefruit sections. Toss together gently.

To same food processor or blender container, add the reserved grated peel, cream cheese and brown sugar; cover and process until well blended. Fill each crepe with some of the fruit mixture; top with a tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle on coconut; roll up crepe. Place in a microwave-safe or ovenproof dish; spoon on remaining cream cheese mixture and coconut. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, or heat through in 350-degree oven for ten minutes.
Recipe makes eight servings.


This simple salad recipe with just four ingredients is so beautiful and refreshing. Use your favorite salad dressing if you'd like.
2 whole grapefruits
2 avocados
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup coleslaw salad dressing
Peel grapefruits and section. Place sections in medium bowl; squeeze juice from membranes over fruit. Peel avocado and remove pit. Cut into chunks and gently toss with grapefruit in bowl. Sprinkle with nuts and drizzle with salad dressing. Serves 4


Minty Melon and Grapefruit Salad tossed with a Sherry Vinegar, Honey and Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing. Makes 4 servings.

1 (about 2 lbs.) cantaloupe or honeydew melon
1 ruby red grapefruit
1 pink grapefruit
1 white grapefruit
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped mint
To Decorate: a whole mint leaves

1. Cut the melon in two and scoop out the seeds. With a melon baller, scoop out balls of melon and place in a serving bowl.

2. Peel the grapefruit, making sure to remove all of the white pith.

3. Holding the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juices, section them between the membranes. Place the sections in the serving bowl with the melon balls.

4. Add the mustard, vinegar, honey and mint to the grapefruit juice and whisk to combine.

5. Pour the vinaigrette over the fruit and toss to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To serve:
Divide the fruit among 4 salad plates and spoon some of the juice over each. Decorate with the mint and serve.

Spinach and Pink Grapefruit Salad

This is a tangy and refreshing side salad or appetizer that would be a perfect beginning to a spring or summer lunch. Enjoy with your favorite low-fat or fat-free citrus or raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

6 cups baby spinach leaves
1 small pink grapefruit, peeled, pith removed, segmented, and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tbsp walnut pieces, chopped

Rinse, drain and dry baby spinach leaves; arrange on 4 salad plates. Arrange grapefruit pieces on top, followed by onion slivers and mushroom slices. Scatter raspberries and walnut pieces on top.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of your favorite low fat or fat free citrus or raspberry vinaigrette.
Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Oroblanco Sorbet

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 Oroblanco grapefruit, cut into halves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes, or until mixture is close to room temperature.
Grate 1-teaspoon of grapefruit peel from one of the grapefruit. Cut all the grapefruit into halves and squeeze the juice. Pour the juice through a strainer into a large bowl. You should have about 1-3/4 cups juice. Stir in the cooled sugar syrup, grapefruit peel and lemon juice.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Serve, or freeze in a tightly sealed freezer container until serving time.
Recipe makes four servings.
Tip: To make this ice cream without an ice cream maker, freeze the fruit purée in a shallow metal pan until firm. Break up the frozen mixture with a fork. Beat and electric mixer until fluffy. Cover the mixture and freeze again until firm. You may repeat the freezing and beating steps for a smoother, finer texture. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes to soften before serving.