Apr 072016

Recipe: Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette



In my previous post, I highlighted some seasonal fruits and vegetables which are at their prime in April: Asparagus, Grapefruit and Rucola (also called arugula in the US or rocket in the UK).


I came up with a simple recipe which uses all three of these ingredients, called ‘Asparagus and Rucola Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette’. Although asparagus can be eaten raw, I lightly grill it for this recipe to deepen its flavour. The rucola works as a simple base and can be mixed with other spring greens of you find its flavour too overpowering. And I felt the best way to use the grapefruit was in a dressing.


This recipe can be used as a base on which to build a more complex salad by adding additional ingredients on top. Otherwise, it is delicious served simply as it is.





Dressing ingredients:

(makes half a cup – recipe can be doubled)

5 Tbsp (75ml) freshly squeezed juice from a grapefruit

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt


Salad ingredients:

1-2 handfuls of rucola per person (or some other green leaf)

Asparagus spears (for thin asparagus, allow 8-10 spears per person; for thick asparagus, allow 4-5 spears per person)

Olive oil (to lightly coat the asparagus spears before grilling)

Shaved parmesan (optional)



  1. Prepare Grapefruit Vinaigrette by combining all the dressing ingredients together in a jar with a lid and shaking it well. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Wash and dry the rucola leaves.
  3. Trim the end off the asparagus spears and toss them lightly in extra virgin olive oil. Grill in a panini press on medium heat until you see grill lines. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 200C/400F and roast the asparagus spears in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes (turning halfway through.)
  4. When ready to serve, toss the rucola leaves in the grapefruit vinaigrette. If serving in individual plates, place 1-2 handfuls of rucola on each plate and then the asparagus spears on top. If there is any leftover dressing, you can spoon a little bit over the asparagus.
  5. As an option, you can add a few shavings of parmesan cheese on top of the salad.
  6. Serve immediately.


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Apr 012016

Seasonal: April - Asparagus, Arugula and Grapefruit


April means that we’re well into Springtime. Here is what you should be snacking on this month:


Asparagus is in season from March until June, with April being it’s peak month. Raw asparagus has a taste similar to mangetout, and it can be eaten in many different ways. Thin and delicate spears can be eaten as is, while thick spears do well if you slice them thinly. You can dunk them in your favourite dip, throw them into a salad, or scatter them on top of virtually anything you’re eating. If you can’t quite get yourself to munch on raw asparagus, tossing them with olive oil and throwing them into a grill pan, panini press or oven to cook lightly will intensify their flavour to the more familiar asparagus taste that most of us are used to. Cooked asparagus can be kept in the refrigerator for upto three days.


Grapefruit is in season from winter until late Spring/early summer. Being rather bitter, grapefruit often gets neglected by some of us over the winter months because it has to compete with its sweeter counterparts like clementines, navel oranges and mandarins. However, by Spring a lot of the sweeter citrus fruits are past their best so grapefruit gets a chance to shine. Unless you are used to its bitterness, eating a grapefruit can be a difficult experience. Juicing it makes it easier, especially if you juice it with another sweeter fruit. Grapefruit works well in salad dressings too. I’ll be posting a recipe for Grapefruit Vinaigrette next week, so make sure you sign up for my ‘healthy reminder emails’ (in the right-hand column) or follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to see when I post the recipe!


Rucola (‘Rucola’ is the name in Italy, ‘Arugula’ is the name in the USA, and ‘Rocket’ is the name in the UK) is a spicy peppery leaf which thrives in Spring. If you like rucola’s spiciness, you can dress it simply with olive oil, vinegar and salt (shave some parmesan on that while you’re at it) for a simple side salad. However, if you find the zingy spiciness overwhelming, then mix it up with other leaves. It’s also a delicious addition to any sandwich or tossed into pasta. Throughout the month of April, have a stash of rucola (washed, dried and stored in a salad spinner) ready to use in the refrigerator.


Next week, I’m going to post the recipe for a salad using all of the ingredients above, so make sure you sign up for my ‘healthy reminder emails’ (in the right-hand column) or follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to see when I post the recipe!


Recipe: Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette


The produce above is in season in April in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, April seasonal produce includes Granny Smith apples, Valencia oranges and pomegranates.




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