At first glance, grapefruits seem so similar to oranges that it stands to reason that they'd be as simple to eat. Yet the yellow citrus fruit's larger size, fibrous membranes and inedible core make them initially less rewarding -- and certainly less straight-forward -- than the smaller, more portable orange. Once you've learned to tailor grapefruit preparation for the specific dish you're making, however, you'll find yourself with enough of the sweetly-tart pulp to make the reward worth the extra effort.
Halved Fresh Grapefruit
Cut the grapefruit in half cross-wise. To determine where to make the crosswise cut, locate the top and bottom of the grapefruit by looking for the small circles at each end. Then rotate the fruit so that the circles are positioned at "East and West," rather than "North and South."
Set one of the cut halves securely in front of you, cut-side up. Some people like to put each grapefruit half in a bowl at this point to keep it from rolling, while others cut a thin slice from the underside of each half, to remove the curved section.
Sink your knife into the part of the grapefruit near the outer edge, where the pulp connects to the rind. Run your knife along the entire perimeter of the halved grapefruit.
Slice into the membranes that separate each segment from one another, turning the grapefruit half as you work your way around it. By doing this, you're cutting into the long sides of each segment -- the shorter, bottom edge was severed when you ran the knife around the perimeter of the half.
Serve the grapefruit, placing each half in individual bowls. If you like, sprinkle white sugar over the surface of each half.
Broiled Halved Grapefruits
Set your broiler rack about 4 inches under the broiler, and preheat your broiler to High.
Prepare grapefruit halves as described as you would for making fresh grapefruit halves: Cut each grapefruit in half, run your knife around the perimeter of the interior halves, and cut the membranes between each segment.
Set the grapefruit halves on a broiler pan or a shallow baking pan. Top each half with brown sugar, syrup or honey, as well as spices, if desired.
Set the grapefruits under the broiler and cook them for at least 4 minutes, or until they develop patches of brown.
Segmented Fresh Grapefruit
Cut a thin slice from the grapefruit at the top and the bottom, so that it has flat ends and can sit on a flat surface without rolling.
Stand the grapefruit on one of its now-flat ends. Slice the rind off the grapefruit by cutting down vertically, then turning the grapefruit, until all of the rind, and as much of the interior white pith as possible, is removed. Once the larger sections of skin and pith come away, trim away any of the pith that remains.
Slice into the membranes that separate the segments. Keep in mind that the interior core of the grapefruit is too fibrous to eat, so you don't need to slice into the exact center of the fruit.
Remove the individual segments as they come away from the core, once their membranes are sliced. Place them in a bowl as you continue cutting into the rest of the grapefruit.
Add the grapefruit segments to fresh green salads or to fruit salads. Alternatively, chop the segments into smaller pieces for use in fresh fruit salsa.
- Pamela Follett/Demand Media