Holiday Brunch: Cranberry-Grapefruit Salad


One of my favorite winter treats is grapefruit. I like it for an afternoon snack — there’s something about having to slow down long enough to cut its equator (this is a skill to master in itself — cutting two equal halves), section the bites and scoop them out. I prefer a grapefruit spoon to a knife, and always start with the second of two large sections, working my way counter-clockwise around — this way I start and end with a big, juicy bite.

(I type that description realizing that with every such confession, I’m one step closer to an intervention from the blogosphere at large.)

I was introduced to this salad the first year I spent Christmas with Tim’s family in southern Pennsylvania. It donned the holiday breakfast table, and was utterly refreshing amidst a spread of stollen, quickbreads, and heavier morning fare. I remember eating two bowls full and, craving it again the next morning, came home with the recipe.

I’ve made this just a few times over the years, decreasing the amount of sugar along the way. This time around, I took the sugar out completely (replacing with honey), and adapted the original to use orange zest and juice rather that orange marmalade. The result is equally, if not more refreshing — with no refined sweeteners. If you’re accustomed to eating your grapefruit with a heavy dose of sugar on top, this might be too tart for you — if so, add sugar to your taste (best to add it in the second step).


Assuming I get to the store for more grapefruit, this salad will be gracing our brunch table on Christmas Eve, when we’ll be hosting a group of local friends. The kind of friends who know that I am loco particular about how I eat my grapefruit, and tolerate me anyway. I hope the next few days find you in the comfort of that kind of friend (or family) as well.


Recipe: Cranberry-Grapefruit Winter Salad

serves 8-12


  • 4 grapefruit
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 3 bananas


  1. Peel grapefruit. Cut into sections, and then bite-sized pieces, reserving juice.
  2. Pour grapefruit juice into a 1-cup glass measure (it might only be a Tbsp or two). Add the orange zest and juice, and honey. If necessary, add water so the liquid measures 1 cup.
  3. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan, and heat to simmering. Add the cranberries, and simmer until most of them pop (1-2 minutes). Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Add cranberries (with their cooking liquid) to the grapefruit, and gently stir. Refrigerate until time to serve. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
  5. Just before serving, slice bananas into the salad, and gently stir to distribute.

Copyright © Katy Carter, 2011.


2 thoughts on “Holiday Brunch: Cranberry-Grapefruit Salad

  1. Found you on tastespotting. Love your blog and I will subscribe to it! I’ve just started blogging too and it’s awesome to see so many people making gorgeous food like this. Have a great Christmas! Feel free to pop over and say hi sometime x

    1. Hi Megan, thanks for stopping by ; )
      I see from your blog that you are in Sydney — it never ceases to amaze me how the gap across oceans seems infinitely smaller since blogging came to be.
      I love your story — it sounds very similar to mine (had no idea how to cook, one day just started). Enjoy the new forum for recording your adventures — that Christmas pudding looks amazing!

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