For 4 years of my career I was fortunate to host a cooking show where I got to cook with some of the best chefs and home cooks in Toronto. This translates into about 70 different kitchens, 70 different dinner parties and around 210 mouth-watering culinary creations. I ate and enjoyed every single one of them (and asked for seconds because I am not shy like that!). But there is one dish that competes for the top spot on my "most unforgettable" list and that dish is the Avocado and Grapefruit salad with Béarnaise Sauce made by the man our crew affectionately called Uncle Buck. A kind, worldly man with great stories and comforting recipes. When I tried his Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Béarnaise Sauce, I knew that my taste buds were introduced to the most luscious and breathtaking combination of textures they had ever experienced.
A velvety, creamy avocado meets the juicy and revitalizing pink grapefruit. Avocado rounds out the sweetness of the grapefruit and the grapefruit's elusive bitterness compliments the avocado's mellow yet distinctive taste. It's a perfect marriage of flavours that are so different but work together in such great harmony. And then there is the sauce. The pride of French cookery - the Béarnaise. The beloved baby of the mother Hollandaise sauce. Even more velvety, even more intriguing and aromatic. Tickled with sweet shallots and tarragon. I like to spoon it over my plated avocado and grapefruit segments and crack some freshly ground black pepper over it. And yes, it is a perfect dish to serve on your next date night. Avocados are filled with vitamin E which plays a vital role in keeping us energized and happy. Not to mention the joy that comes from finding something you can put on your very own "most unforgettable" list. And I guarantee it - you'll start the list if you don't have one yet.
2 ripe avocados,
1 large grapefruit,
For Béarnaise sauce:
1 cup butter, cut into cubes,
2 tbsp minced shallots,
2 tbsp white wine vinegar,
2 large egg yolks,
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice,
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon,
Salt and pepper.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper, stir. Stir in vinegar, reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes. Continue cooking on low, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
Place the remaining butter in a medium glass bowl, and melt in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the shallot, white wine vinegar, egg yolks and lemon juice. Add tarragon. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until thickened, stirring until smooth every 30 seconds.
Cut your avocados and grapefruit into segments, Make sure that grapefruits segments have no membrane on them. Arrange on a platter and spoon your Béarnaise sauce over the avocado and grapefruit segments. Garnish with tarragon if desired.