A dish for any occasion

Entertaining

Entertaining: Ruby-red grapefruits combine with strawberries for a sweet treat that goes with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

April 08, 2001|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

It's not often that I come across a recipe so versatile that it can be used in more than one context. However, while going through my files recently, I found notes describing such a dish.

I had forgotten about some delicious ruby red grapefruit halves filled with wine-glazed strawberries and grapefruit segments, which I had prepared as part of a light breakfast for weekend company awhile back. When I tested the recipe a few days ago, one of my culinary assistants pointed out that the colorful grapefruit halves could be used other than for the first meal of the day. While I envisioned them only as breakfast or brunch fare, she thought they would be tempting as individual fruit salads for a luncheon menu. Then we both realized that the sweetened berries and grapefruit would be good served as a simple dessert along with some cookies to end a spring dinner.

Recipes such as this are indispensable when entertaining. It's like a woman's invaluable basic black dress, which, depending on the accessories, can be worn on myriad occasions.

Grapefruit Halves With Wine-Glazed Strawberries and Grapefruit Segments

Makes 6 servings

4 grapefruits, preferably with pink flesh (see note)

1 1/2 pints strawberries, rinsed, dried well and hulled

3 / 4 cup red wine

3 / 4 cup sugar

6 fresh mint sprigs

Halve 3 grapefruits crosswise. Using sharp paring knife, remove grapefruit segments from each and place in mixing bowl. Using scissors, trim away and discard remaining membranes from shells. Cut thin slice from bottom of each half so that grapefruit will stand up straight. Squeeze juice lightly from halves into 1-cup measuring cup, along with remaining grapefruit to make 3 / 4 cup. Strain and set aside.

Halve berries or quarter larger ones. If strawberries have white, unripened inner cores when sliced, cut them out and discard. Add sliced berries to bowl with grapefruit segments.

Combine grapefruit juice, wine and sugar in heavy, medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and until mixture is syrupy and reduced by half, 10 minutes or longer. Remove from heat. Cool syrup 5 minutes.

Toss grapefruit segments and berries into syrup, then use slotted spoon to ladle fruit into grapefruit shells. Drizzle any remaining syrup in bowl over fruit. Garnish each serving with 1 mint sprig.

Note: Grapefruits are either white (with yellowish-white flesh) or pink (with flesh ranging from pale pink to rich ruby red). Either can be used, but pink ones with ruby red flesh are the best.

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