February 12, 2008

The pickup: It’s citrus season, so I picked up a few grapefruit from my neighborhood grocer. Yellow, red, or a pinkish in-between, I love the bright, tangy flavor of grapefruit; I like slicing one in half and broiling it with a sprinkling of brown sugar for breakfast.

The results: This time, though, I wanted to break out of my grapefruit rut. I happened upon a feed talking up a traditional Texas dish of grapefruit pie and later an Epicurious recipe for the same dish.

Grapefruit is both tart and sweet.

But I’m eating alone this week and knew I wouldn’t be able to (and shouldn’t!) consume a whole pie by myself. So I continued my search until I found a Martha Stewart recipe for grapefruit risotto.

I know from previous experience that lemon risotto is lovely, so I merged the Martha recipe with my own. Three tablespoons of grapefruit zest added to my run-of-the-mill risotto recipe gave the dish a hint of citrus flavor. (Add the zest at the exact moment you add the rice to the pan, to make sure the zest has time to infuse the rice with citrus notes as it cooks.)

The zest was delicious in the risotto. But what to do with the grapefruit flesh itself? I supremed the remaining fruit and paired the slices with slivers of crisp, light fennel and a sprinkling of chopped parsley leaves. Presto! A salad to go with my risotto.

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