Grapefruit: winter’s redeeming quality
I think they knew what they were doing when they made February National Grapefruit Month. For February, aka Worst Month, comes in the depths of winter, and grapefruit season is winter’s redeeming quality. Broiled Grapefruit with Brown Sugar, Rosemary, and Vanilla allows grapefruit to shine. This tasty treat comes together in a flash and brings out all the glorious flavors of grapefruit.
Grapefruit is a happy accident
While to me, grapefruit is about as perfect as it gets, it development is an odd story. A cross between a pomelo and a sweet orange, the grapefruit originated in Barbados, likely in the sixteenth century, as a result of citrus grafting.
This makes grapefruit the only citrus fruit to have originated in the Americas. A farmer brought grapefruits to Florida in the nineteenth century, and the ruby red grapefruit developed accidentally there in the early twentieth century. Sweeter than the pale cousins, the ruby red grapefruit became wildly popular. The rest, as they say, is history.
Grapefruit can have a strange effect
While grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C and very healthy, not everyone can eat it due a strange phenomenon that is not fully understood. Grapefruit interacts with several common medications in a way that makes eating it potentially very dangerous. I’m so very grateful that grapefruit is still on my good list and will mourn the day that ever changes. I hope that you can eat it, because this dish is tasty.
How I started broiling grapefruit
Years ago, I posted a photo on Facebook of a grapefruit that had one of the largest rind to fruit ratios I’d ever seen. I captioned the photo, “Well, that’s disappointing.” A friend of mine responded with “Top it with a little sugar and broil it for a couple of minutes. You’re welcome.”
Experimenting with flavors
He was right. Since then, I’ve experimented with different ways of broiling grapefruit and have landed on this combination. Brown sugar gives it an extra caramel flavor, and vanilla a nice, almost boozy note. The rosemary adds some complexity, and salt brings out the flavor. I get to use some of my cherries from Zadar, Croatia, too. My idea of a good treat.
I’ve seen some recipes that add butter to this. I’d imagine that would taste good, but I prefer my grapefruit flavor to come through more.
Take care with the broiler
If you broil things, you know that things can go from gorgeous to gross in a matter of seconds. This is no exception. Keep an eye on it. Adding a foil liner (not parchment) to your pan will help with cleanup, which is always nice on cold, snowy mornings when this is best served.
Scale up or down
This tastes lovely the next day (obviously the sugar will have softened), so I tend to go ahead and make both halves. However, you certainly don’t have to. Broiled grapefruit also works for a crowd, if you’re hosting a brunch. To scale up, just select the increase recipe option on the card (there’s choices to double or triple the recipe).
National Grapefruit Month circled in your calendar?
Do you love grapefruit? Let’s celebrate National Grapefruit Month! What’s your favorite grapefruit dish? Let us know in the comments below, and I’d love to hear if you tried this one.
Broiled Grapefruit with Brown Sugar, Rosemary, and Vanilla
- 1 red grapefruit, cut in half and sectioned
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla to taste
- ¼ sprig rosemary, stem removed and leaves torn to taste
- flaky sea salt optional
- 2 maraschino cherries, to garnish optional
- Turn the broiler on high. Line a small sheet pan with foil and place the grapefruit halves on the sheet1 red grapefruit, cut in half and sectioned
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and vanilla. Top the grapefruit halves with the brown sugar mixture, spreading evenly1 tbsp brown sugar, ¼ tsp vanilla
- Sprinkle rosemary leaves and sea salt (if using) over the grapefruit halves¼ sprig rosemary, stem removed and leaves torn, flaky sea salt
- Broil for 2-5 minutes, checking frequently. The grapefruits are ready when the sugars have melted and started to caramelize. Be careful. This goes from glorious to not glorious quickly
- To serve, top with a maraschino cherry2 maraschino cherries, to garnish