*Best In Season is a new category where I’ll take a look at something in season, and why you should eat it. This week’s offering is the humble, ever-generous grapefruit.
Zebras, monkeys and grapefruit were among the things Sir George Grey, then governor of New Zealand, introduced to our shores in the mid 1800s. This citrus variety grew well here and crops were abundant, leading to the yellow-skinned fruit with slightly bitter tasting orange flesh being coined Poorman’s Orange. The name still holds true in that grapefruit are seldom purchased by the kilo; they’re more likely collected by the bucket-load in a back yard. New Zealand grapefruit are not true grapefruit, they are more likely a pomelo hybrid, so the fruit are known as New Zealand Goldfruit for the purpose of exporting. As with Zespri, name hasn’t entered the language here. Fresh grapefruit juice gets you off to a zingy morning start, as do grapefruit halves sprinkled with sugar – try sprinkling brown sugar over and leaving overnight for a breakfast treat. Make a citrusy salsa with diced grapefruit segments, fresh chilli pepper, finely sliced red onion, chopped coriander and a little smoked paprika. Sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper over, and a splash of lime juice, and let the flavour develop for a few hours before serving with roasted or barbecued meats. Make a citrus dressing to leave a tingle on the lips: whisk together grapefruit and lemon juice with avocado oil, sea salt, black pepper and a little fresh ginger and soy sauce and use to dress salads, steamed Asian greens and broccoli. Substitute orange and lemon for grapefruit when making candied citrus peel and use to decorate winter baking or dip strips of candied peel in melted dark chocolate for a grown-ups after-dinner treat.