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Avocado, Fennel & Grapefruit Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter

Tender spring lettuces pair with late-winter avocado, fennel, and grapefruit for a salad that feels fresh and spring-like before spring vegetables have really come into season. Mâche is a small oval leaf lettuce, also known as lamb’s lettuce. If you can’t find mâche, use an extra cup of Boston lettuce.


  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced (about 1⁄4 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more as needed
  • 3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly chopped
  • 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3⁄4 lb. jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.),peeled and deveined
  • 1 large head Boston lettuce, washed and torn into large bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup mâche sprigs
  • 1⁄2 small bulb fresh fennel, cored and very thinly sliced or shaved on a mandoline (about 1 cup)
  • 1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium-size ripe Hass avocado
  • 3 oz. feta, crumbled (about 1⁄2 cup); optional

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on 2 servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 700
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 440
  • Fat (g): 50
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 30
  • Cholesterol (mg): 290
  • Sodium (mg): 1000
  • Carbohydrates (g): 30
  • Fiber (g): 12
  • Protein (g): 38


  • Slice the ends off the grapefruit to expose the flesh. Set the grapefruit on one of its cut ends and slice off the skin in wide strips (try to remove all the bitter white pith). Working over a medium bowl, cut the segments free from the membranes, letting each segment fall into the bowl as you go. Squeeze the juice from the membrane and strain the juice into a small bowl. Remove any seeds from the segments and cut the segments in half crosswise.

    Put 3 Tbs. of the grapefruit juice,the oil, shallot, lime juice, salt, fennel seeds, and pepper in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake it vigorously to combine. Taste and add more lime juice if needed to make the vinaigrette bright and tangy.

    Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the vinaigrette for dressing the salad and pour the remaining vinaigrette into a medium nonreactive bowl. Put the shrimp in the bowl with the vinaigrette, toss, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

    Prepare a hot gas or charcoal grill. (Prepare the salad ingredients while the shrimp marinate and the grill heats.) Or, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the shrimp until just cooked through, about 1-1⁄2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let the shrimp cool slightly.

    Put the lettuce, mâche, sliced fennel, and cilantro in a large bowl. Peel and cut the avocado into 1⁄2-inch chunks. Give the reserved vinaigrette a vigorous shake and drizzle about 3 Tbs. over the salad. Toss the salad gently to combine; the vinaigrette should just coat the leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Divide the salad between two dinner plates or four salad plates. Scatter the avocado,grapefruit, and shrimp over the salad, tucking some pieces between the leaves. Sprinkle with the feta (if using), drizzle with a little of the remaining vinaigrette, and serve immediately.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • thepastalady | 05/11/2020

    Love this salad - one of my favorites.
    Issue # 39 - Grilling 2010

  • red_over_white | 12/12/2013

    Fresh and bright flavors, we've made this as a first course salad for guests or in larger portions as a summer dinner for ourselves.

  • lklandrum | 04/14/2013

    Flavorful and filling as main course. My husband doesn't like feta, so I used goat cheese crumbles instead. I'm sure the recipe would have been even more flavorful with feta. I plan on making this often during spring and summer.

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