Seasonal Home Cooking

Grapefruit Avocado Kale Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Grapefruit Avocado Kale Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Winter is citrus season and I am so glad it is. Winter can be dark, dreary, gloomy and citrus provides a nice brightness that is much needed during this time. Kale is also in season during the winter, it is one of those hearty winter greens that has had a moment in the last five years. Prior to its claim of being a super food, I think most people would have recognized it as the salad bar decoration that no one really ate. There are a couple of varieties of kale, this recipe uses lacinato kale. Lacinato kale is a very dark green, its smoother than the curly leaf variety often seen, sometimes it’s called Tuscan or dinosaur kale. In my opinion, lacinato kale the best type to use in a salad. The smooth texture of lacinato kale is much kinder on your mouth than the curly leaf, salad bar decor you see most often at the grocery store.

A raw kale salad may not be everyone’s or most people’s first choice, but if made right, I think most people can be won over. One way to cut the bitterness and toughness out of kale, is to dress it in advance prior to eating or serving it. Sometimes this is called a massaged kale salad, because using your hands you can rub the dressing into the kale. Unlike other lettuces, kale holds up extremely well to dressing. For a couple of days, you can keep kale dressed in the fridge and instead of wilting, the kale becomes more tender and enjoyable to eat.

Grapefruit and avocado are a really excellent combination. Avocado provides a really nice creamy balance to the acidity of grapefruit. The pistachios in this salad provide another wonderful flavor of nuttiness and a crunchy counterpart to the soft bite of grapefruit and avocado. I decided to serve it with a buttermilk dressing to provide the salad with a tangy flavor, but also it cuts the acid as well. Grapefruit is one of my favorite fruits, but it can be overpowering and the avocado and buttermilk really add a nice balance to the salad. This salad is definitely in the healthy category. It makes an excellent lunch, with a good slice of crusty whole grain bread. You can follow through on any New Year’s clean eating resolutions you may have by trying this recipe.

If you have never segmented a grapefruit before, this is a good tutorial on how to do it.


Grapefruit Avocado Kale Salad with Buttermilk Dressing



1 bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons

2 grapefruits, segmented

1 cup of pistachios, shelled (definitely save your time and try to buy them shelled)

1 avocado, cubed

buttermilk dressing (see recipe below)



  1. Add the kale to a large bowl.
  2. Dress the kale with the desired amount of dressing and either using your hands or tongs rub the dressing into the kale.
  3. Let the dressing sit on the kale for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Top the salad with the avocado, grapefruit, and pistachios.


RECIPE – Buttermilk Dressing

1/4 cup of buttermilk

3 – 4 Tbsp sour cream

3 Tbsp mayo

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp black pepper



  1. Place all the ingredients into a measuring cup and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour desired amount onto salad, and store any extras into an air tight container.