The sweet and bitter juices of a grapefruit are refreshing on their own, but when doused with a dressing of olive oil, simple syrup, shiso, and wasabi, it’s magic. I know the wasabi may strike you as odd, but trust me on this. The flavor is not overpowering, but just adds to the feeling of a cool spring breeze.
I had a hard time characterizing this dish—sounds like a salad, but tastes more like a dessert. To help me decipher the salad vs. dessert issue, I opened the question up on Facebook (I keep forgetting to mention you can find me on Facebook and Twitter now. Let’s be friends!) and Clement further added to my conundrum by suggesting the flavors may function more like an apértif or amuse-bouche than a salad or a dessert. Whatever you may label it, I think you’ll agree it’s delicious!
Pink Grapefruit Dessert Salad
Adapted from Gochiso, Spring 2012
Makes 2 servings
2 pink grapefruits
1/2 cup (100ml) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100ml) water
5 shiso leaves, plus 2 leaves for garnish
1/4 tsp. wasabi paste (from a tube)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch of salt
Make a simple syrup by putting the water and sugar over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside. Cool in the refrigerator.
Add the cooled simple syrup, shiso, wasabi, olive oil, and salt in a blender (I used a hand blender) and blend until there are miniscule bits of shiso floating.
Prepare the grapefruit by sectioning (as shown here) or peel the skin carefully by hand. Assemble segments on a plate and pour the dressing on top. Garnish with shiso leaf.