Historically, grapefruit is one of my most reviled foods. I just don't like the flavor. It's too sour, and it leaves the raw acid taste in the back of my throat that I always associate with severe heartburn.
In the name of good sportsmanship, I resigned myself to this week's French Fridays with Dorie selection of Crab and Grapefruit Salad (page 134 of Around My French Table), despite the fact that I was sure--SURE--it would be a supreme waste of expensive crab meat. My attitude didn't improve when I told Matt, who likes grapefruit, what I was making, and his response was, "that doesn't sound like it'll work at all."
I was tempted to replace the crab with some much cheaper shrimp, but I remembered the disastrous consequences of meddling with Dorie's Salmon in a Jar recipe, heard Matt's voice pleading, "Next time, just trust Dorie!!", and stopped myself. I stalled on making this all week, and finally, feeling vitamin deficient and like I'm catching Charlie's cold, decided to suck it up and just do it for dinner last night.
I sliced the segments of grapefruit free of their casings, tasted one, and, miracle of miracles! I didn't hate it! In fact, I sort of liked it. I may just really need some extra vitamin C in my diet, but I'm craving another. It's so weird. I'm wondering if, in the past, I scooped bitter pith out with the fruit, and that ruined the fruit for me. I've never dismembered it as Dorie instructs before, so that seems to be the only variable. It's always possible that my tastebuds changed. I hated beer before I had my son, but craved it all during my pregnancy, and love it now. Strange things can happen. Back on point...
Once it was tossed together with the crab meat, orange pepper, jalapeno, cucumber, scallion, mint, and avocado, I could barely notice the grapefruit. Unlike my mother's fruit salad, this mixture didn't seem to be destroyed by its contact with my bitter enemy. This salad was light, refreshing, and so pretty.
I used crab meat that I'd frozen a few weeks ago. I wish I used straight-from-the-Gulf-fresh crab meat, because the meat was tougher this time around than it was when I used the other half a pound originally. In a dish like this, where it isn't being re-cooked, tenderness is key.
Conclusion: Much to my shock, I liked it. I need to go find myself another grapefruit. I have a lifetime of rejection to make up for.