Grapefruit, fig and sumac salad

This light, refreshing salad is the perfect starter to a hearty meal. Sean Gravina pairs the bitter grapefruit with an African spice – sumac, available at specialty stores locally. 

Grapefruit, fig and sumac salad

Serves 4


  • 6 pink or red grape fruit
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 small red dried chili
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • ½ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2-3 small chicory leaves, separated and cut in half if to large
  • 80g watercress
  • 20g basil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the top and tail of 5 grapefruit and cut down the sides to remove the skin and white pith.
  2. Over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to remove segments.
  3. Place in a colander to drain and squeeze out any juice left from the body.
  4. Make the vinaigrette by squeezing enough juice from the last fruit, up to 300ml.
  5. Add the sugar and chilli and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer to a thick sauce, about 5 tablespoons.
  6. Set aside to cool, then whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, sumac and a pinch of salt
  7. To serve just put the grapefruit segments, onion, chicory, watercress and basil in a large bowl, pour over three quarters of the dressing and toss very gently. Add more dressing if the salad seems dry and serve immediately.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 22 January, 2016.