In Season - April 2009

By Judi Gallagher April 1, 2009

You probably believe that pink grapefruits are sweeter than white. Actually, there is no difference. But grapefruits run sweeter in late winter and early spring, so this can be the optimum time to enjoy them. 

While grapefruit was first introduced to Florida in the early 1800s, it was sold chiefly to tourists as a curiosity for the first 100 years. But it didn’t get full respect until the 1960s, when fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice began to appear in restaurants.

Named for their clustering on the trees (like grapes on the vine), grapefruits are filled with nutritional benefits. Low in sodium, they’re high in fat-burning enzymes, and since they’re also high in water content, eating them may even increase your metabolism.

Here’s a favorite recipe of mine from Dean & Deluca for spicy ceviche marinated in grapefruit.

Halibut Ceviche with Grapefruit and Chilies 

1 lb. halibut filet

½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

1 whole pink grapefruit

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 ½ tablespoons finely minced chilies

1 tablespoon finely minced green chilies

2 tablespoons fresh mint chiffonade (roll leaves and cut very thin)

Sea salt and hot sauce to taste

Extra virgin olive oil to taste 

Cut the halibut into thin, broad slices. Place in a non-reactive bowl (do not use metal) and toss with lime juice and grapefruit juice. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Cut the grapefruits in half crosswise and cut into pieces with a grapefruit knife. Slice each piece in half lengthwise.

When ready to serve the ceviche, drain the liquid completely from the halibut. Add grapefruit pieces, garlic, red chilies, green chilies and mint.


Toss very gently.

Divide into six small plates. Season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. If you like extra heat, use a splash of hot sauce as well. Serve with wedge of lime.

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