Ricki's Radish and Grapefruit Salad

Radish and Grapefruit Salad

An exclusive government monopoly on liquor sales is one of the peculiar features of life in Ontario. A holdover from the early 20th-century post-prohibition days, the continued existence of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (quite the bureaucratic-sounding name) is an example of the lobbying power of public service unions as well as a continual reminder that our provincial government still doesn't really quite trust us. It has been quite a few years since wine and liquor was stored behind a closed wall and customers had to write their order on a slip of paper in a bare Soviet-style room and have it delivered to them in brown parcel paper from behind a counter, but even now locations are few and far-between even in cities, and plastic bags have been discontinued; yes, half-a-dozen wine bottles get put in a handle-less paper bag, unless you bring your own bag or choose a box instead. So much for the customer always comes first philosophy.

Still, the Board has kept up with modern marketing trends and now the LCBO (yes, a user-friendly acronym) has turned itself into a snazzy, upscale brand with fancy furnishings and funky in-store signage. One of the best things to come out of this marketing consciousness is the LCBO's quarterly Food & Drink Magazine, an attractive and glossy high-production Martha Stewart Living-type giveaway featuring dozens of beautiful gourmet recipes in every issue.

So I was intrigued right away by the odd combination of flavors in this salad from an old Food & Drink Magazine and posted by one of my favorite food bloggers, Ricki Heller. Grapefruit, olives and radishes sounded like such disparate tastes that I never would have thought of putting them together myself, but given the reputation of both Ricki and the magazine I knew that it had to be worth a try.

Like so many other interesting suggestions the recipe ended up being bookmarked for a long time, but it finally got made with colorful and delicious results. As the unusual ingredients suggest, the overall effect is difficult to describe … Ricki calls the results "tart, salty, peppery, juicy," to which I can only add "fresh," "tangy," and "bizarrely appealing."

This salad is best eaten in one sitting as it will turn to liquid-y mush after only a short time … but finishing it off in one dinner didn't prove to be any problem at all! If you're ambitious and finicky, a more appealing and tantalizing result can be had by peeling the membrane off each of the grapefruit sections, but I'm afraid that I'm not the kind of girl to go to that kind of trouble except in extraordinary circumstances!

Ricki's Radish and Grapefruit SaladRicki's Radish and Grapefruit Salad
Recipe by
From Ricki Heller
Published on September 16, 2008

An unusual fresh, tangy and appealing summer grapefruit and olive salad with tart, peppery, salty and slightly sweet flavors — something entirely different to serve to your guests

Preparation: 20 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 2 small red grapefruits
  • 2 small white grapefruits
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 12 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Peel the grapefruit and cut into sections over a bowl to catch the juice for the dressing. Place the grapefruit sections, green onions, olives and radishes in a salad bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss together.

Makes 4 servings

Radish and Grapefruit Salad


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words, Lisa! I love your description that the salad is "bizarrely appealing"--I couldn't agree more! I loved the look of it first, but was afraid I wouldn't like the taste, and then surprised to enjoy it so much. But gee, now what will I make for No Croutons Required--?? (just kidding ;)

I also never knew that the LCBO used to have the alcohol behind a wall!!! Guess I moved to Ontario after that bizarrely UNappealing practise ended!!

Usha said...

What an interesting combination of ingredients..I agree with you ,I would have never thought to mix these together too.....it does look very yummy though :)

Ivy said...

I am intrigued by this recipe. I have never used grapefruit nor radishes in any of my recipes although I have tried both of them many years ago. I think it's time to give them a second chance. Thanks Lisa for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to remember going to the LCBO with my mother when they were nothing but bare-walled rooms with tables, lists of available stock, and chits and pencils to write down your selection. My mother would hand it to a clerk at the counter, and somebody would retrieve the order from the back room and give it to her wrapped up -- presumably so that nobody could see that she was a wine buyer! Must have been more than 30 years ago now.

Johanna GGG said...

bizarre sounds right but it just doesn't appeal to me - too many challenges in one salad - but I did like your story of the LCBO

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Lovely addition to the line-up Lisa, although I am still pondering over grapefruit.

Anonymous said...

I just made this today and it was delicious (I Didn't have any green onions, though)

My only complaint is the bitter/salty aftertaste but this is my first time eating radishes so don't let that stop you from trying it. I will make it again and next time with green onions~