Grapefruit

Grapefruit

grapefruit Pete Dulin

 

Whenever I eat citrus fruit, I feel like I’m eating part of the sun.

Today we take access to oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and other citrus for granted. California’s oranges weren’t widely available until the mid-late 1800s when the Transcontinental Railroad enabled cross-country shipping. The advent of the automobile and national highway system enabled shippers to cost-effectively deliver fruit from California, Texas and Florida. Of course, citrus is now available from around the world thanks to the modern wonder of global transportation.

In my mind, the journey of a hefty ruby red grapefruit or cara cara orange begins with the sun. Light from a distant star travels across the eons to shine on our planet and generate the fundamental energy needed for growth. Whether I’m drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice or eating a slice of key lime pie, the pleasure of that tart taste began with the sun.

I love how nature provides its own containers. The rind of an orange or watermelon, the skin of a grape, the peel of an apple, all hold goodness within. From the atomic level to cells to complex beings like you and me, nature is really a series of containers big and small.

Peeling apart a tangerine or slicing open a plump lime reveals brightly-colored, pulpy and juicy fruit. It’s nature’s gift in a way.

 

grapefruit 4 low_res

Purple Savoy Cabbage

Purple Savoy Cabbage

The vivid color and shape of this purple and green savoy cabbage looks alien as if frilly jaws are poised to snap open and seize a meal. This winter cabbage is as delicious to eat as it is to look at aesthetically. Milder and sweeter than red and green cabbage, savoy cabbage makes a great alternative to the heavy, dense bowling balls of cabbage typically used for coleslaw or boiling down with potatoes and corned beef.

Try quickly sautéing savoy cabbage for 3-4 minutes (or longer, as desired) in canola oil in a hot skillet. Because savoy cabbage is more tender than its counterparts when cooked, avoid long cook times normally used to render green cabbage into a limp mess. Pair it with savory links of sausage or bratwurst, Burger’s smoky country ham or bacon, or chicken breast cooked in the iron skillet before the cabbage, so the leafy green can absorb flavor-filled pan juices.

Or, for a vegetarian dish, combine sautéed cabbage with caramelized onions and crunchy diced apple. Something tart to play against the sweeter cabbage and onions. Drizzle a spoonful of pan juice atop the dish. Add crumbles of tangy goat cheese and a sprinkle of minced rosemary and cracked black pepper. Serve with seasoned rice.