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Grapefruit And Arugula Salad With Quinoa Recipe

white bowl of salad
white bowl of salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

For those who enjoy a little tangy kick in their salads, this grapefruit and arugula salad with quinoa is just the zesty choice. Bursting with freshness and vitality, this dish combines the bright tartness of pink grapefruit, the peppery bite of arugula, and the nutty richness of quinoa. The mustard balsamic dressing brings it all together and offers a delicious blend of tastes and textures. This recipe can be whipped together in less than 30 minutes — even quicker if you have leftover quinoa in the fridge to use up.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "I've always loved grapefruit but once I learned how to easily peel the membrane from the segments, it opened up a whole new door for using it in recipes. It not only makes a prettier presentation but tastes so much fresher and juicier." That brightness pairs especially well with an arugula salad, which as a whole dish could function as a side at dinner or as a light lunch paired with grilled chicken.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Gather The Ingredients For Grapefruit And Arugula Salad With Quinoa

grapefruit arugula salad ingredients
grapefruit arugula salad ingredients - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

To make this recipe, pick up a pink grapefruit, arugula, and an avocado from the produce department. Then grab some quinoa — any color will work, and you will be cooking it, so don't go for the instant variety.

For a little added sweetness and crunch, you'll need some dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Lastly for the dressing, check your condiments and spice cabinet for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Step 1: Cook The Quinoa

hand adding quinoa to pot
hand adding quinoa to pot - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Add the quinoa to a pot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Make The Dressing

hand whisking the dressing
hand whisking the dressing - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

Step 3: Cut The Ends From The Grapefruit

grapefruit with ends cut off
grapefruit with ends cut off - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Cut about ¼ inch off of the top and bottom of the grapefruit so it sits flat.

Step 4: Slice The Peel From The Grapefruit

hand slicing the peel off
hand slicing the peel off - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Position the grapefruit with one of the flat sides down and use a sharp knife to cut in a downward motion, slicing the peel from the grapefruit.

Step 5: Cut Into Sections

knife cutting grapefruit segments
knife cutting grapefruit segments - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Position the grapefruit on its side and, with a small paring knife, cut the grapefruit into sections following the natural separations. Slice these sections in half.

Step 6: Chop The Avocado

chopped avocado on board
chopped avocado on board - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Chop the avocado.

Step 7: Add The Salad Ingredients To A Bowl

large bowl with salad ingredients
large bowl with salad ingredients - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

In a large bowl add the cooked arugula, quinoa, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and avocado.

Step 8: Toss With Dressing

hand holding dressing
hand holding dressing - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Toss with dressing.

Step 9: Add The Grapefruit And Serve

tongs adding grapefruit to salad
tongs adding grapefruit to salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Add the grapefruit sections and serve.

What Else Can You Add To Grapefruit And Arugula Salad?

salad with grapefruit halves
salad with grapefruit halves - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

The grapefruit and arugula salad with quinoa is simple and delicious as is, but you can add a variety of ingredients to enhance the flavors or make it heartier. To provide a hint of sharpness, try adding some sliced red onion or shallot. "Because some people prefer to avoid raw onion, I would opt for shallots here if you are serving it to guests. They are much milder and add just enough of the pungent flavor," Hahn shares.

Consider incorporating some crumbled feta or goat cheese for a creamy tanginess that contrasts with the tartness of the grapefruit. Dairy-free options or other cheese substitutes are available if needed. To make the salad more of a meal add a protein source. Cooked chicken, or shrimp can be added in step 7 and will add a savory element to the dish. For vegetarian options, cannellini beans or seared tofu work well.

Fresh herbs such as mint, Italian parsley, or basil can lend a refreshing aroma and brightness to the salad. Plus, fresh herbs will contrast nicely with the bright acidity that the grapefruit brings to the dish.

What Should You Serve Alongside This Salad?

salad in two bowls
salad in two bowls - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

This grapefruit and arugula salad can be served in various ways to showcase its flavors and textures effectively. You can serve it as a side salad alongside a main course, such as Mediterranean grilled chicken, fish, or steak, to add a refreshing and vibrant contrast to heartier dishes. Or the salad pairs well with any type of pasta dish like a classic lasagna, spaghetti with red sauce, or a pasta bolognese.

For a lighter option, serving soup alongside the salad will be a nice complement. Try a vegetable minestrone, tomato basil, lemon chicken with orzo, or even a Thai coconut soup. For an elegant presentation, arrange the salad on a large platter for buffets, potlucks, or gatherings where guests can serve themselves. Serving it alongside bowls of additional toppings for garnish like toasted nuts, crumbled cheese, or additional dried fruits is a nice way for everyone to customize the salad.

Grapefruit And Arugula Salad With Quinoa Recipe

white bowl of salad
white bowl of salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 10mCook Time: 15mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • ½ cup dry quinoa

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • 1 pink grapefruit

  • 1 large avocado

  • 5 cups arugula

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

  • ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Add the quinoa to a pot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

  3. Cut about ¼ inch off of the top and bottom of the grapefruit so it sits flat.

  4. Position the grapefruit with one of the flat sides down and use a sharp knife to cut in a downward motion, slicing the peel from the grapefruit.

  5. Position the grapefruit on its side and, with a small paring knife, cut the grapefruit into sections following the natural separations. Slice these sections in half.

  6. Chop the avocado.

  7. In a large bowl add the cooked arugula, quinoa, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and avocado.

  8. Toss with dressing.

  9. Add the grapefruit sections and serve.

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