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Make most of fresh winter flavors with this bright combination

Bright flavors of winter blend in this easy and refreshing salad. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

Recipe: Grapefruit, avocado and fennel salad looks pretty, tastes great

Salads are at their best when they showcase fresh flavors of the season. And some colorful combinations look as good as they taste.

This salad combines fresh ruby red or pink grapefruit with avocado, set against a bed of crunchy fennel and cabbage. The pink tones of the citrus and red onion contrast nicely in color, flavor and texture with the pale green avocado and near-white fennel and cabbage.

The choice of red or pink grapefruit is more than just the color; they tend to be sweeter than their yellow or white counterparts. This salad also works well with navel oranges or mandarins.

Whichever citrus you use, this salad brightens up any winter meal.

Grapefruit, avocado and fennel salad
Makes 2 large servings or 4 side salad servings


1 red or pink grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1 cup fennel, thinly sliced

1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced

¼ cup red onion, diced

For vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons grapefruit or orange juice

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large salad bowl, combine grapefruit, avocado, fennel, cabbage and red onion.

In a jar, combine grapefruit or orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover jar tightly and shake until blended.

Pour vinaigrette over grapefruit mixture in bowl. Toss gently.

Serve immediately.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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