On the heels of my book review for The Art of Simple Food, Jack and I have decided to cook through the book with the hopes of discovering methods to make ourselves better and more instinctual home cooks. Every Monday, we will highlight one or more recipes from the book as we make our way through each chapter.
The first section of the book is titled "Four Essential Sauces": Vinaigrette, Salsa Verde, Aioli, and Herb Butter. Waters states that "these four sauces, though basic, add so much flavor, dimension, and color to meals that I can't imagine cooking without them." To say that she is correct is an understatement. It is important to use the best ingredients with these sauces, however. "Because they're so simple, there's no hiding what these sauces are made of."
Here, Jack and I prepared a two course meal that only required the purchase of a few ingredients - the produce and the protein. Since we had all of the pantry staples listed in Waters' book, our shopping list went a little something like this:
There has ne'er been a more simple shopping list. It brought a tear to my eye.
Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
2 medium ruby grapefruit
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
The recipe for Grapefruit and Avocado Salad can be found on page 240 of The Art of Simple Foods.
Since I followed the recipe word-for-word, I cannot write it here, but I will say that if you have the ingredients, you can make this salad without a recipe. Waters informs of the general rule of thumb for a vinaigrette: The 1:4 ratio - 1 part vinegar, 3 to 4 parts oil. The vinaigrette is made using the juice of 2 or 3 segments of the grapefruit, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The vinaigrette is spooned over the sliced avocado and grapefruit.
Let me just say this: I am normally not a grapefruit fan. I find it too tart. But this salad, my friends, was exquisite. A perfect salad for spring or summer - light and juicy. The tart grapefruit is combined with a silky smooth avocado and the resulting taste is perfection. The grapefruit's normally tart flavor is somehow softened when paired with the creamy avocado and delicious vinaigrette. This is a salad I will forever make when I want a light and delicious meal. I'm already planning on making it this weekend for Memorial Day.