Our favorite chef, Ro Howe—owner of Barraud Caterers in New York City and a veteran contributor to Women’s Voices for Change—offers the second in her series of recipes that make odd (but happy) marriages. Part I was a pleasing blend of tomatoes and watermelon.—Ed.

When creating—and I mean creating, not copying or reproducing—most chefs search for the well-trod patterns of food pairing to please the well-worn palates of thoughtless diners who might otherwise be disturbed or woken  from the comfortable drowse of the expected.

But I have always relied on curiosity and vagrancy through many of the world’s abundant cuisines to keep expectations at bay. Indeed, I rejoice in my cultural curiosity, which keeps questioning the status quo of established taste and texture patterns in each cuisine I explore.

Just because I haven’t eaten this dish before—does that make it invalid as food? Certainly not: That would condemn the culture as well as the cuisine. It’s a gift to be able to read ingredients for their eccentricities rather than their compliance with established norms, and to find partnerships that pique un-expectations by urging a communion of ingredients. I relish the joy of discovery bestowed by apparent stupidity surprised into serendipity.

Grapefruit and avocado have only two things in common: They are both fruit, and they grow in tropical zones. Other than that they don’t know each other very well, and are certainly not on speaking terms in polite society. But I have introduced them to each other in this recipe. I assure you, they are great friends now.


Grapefruit Juice with Avocado Sherbet


Yield: Six portions

Equipment: Food processor, rubber spatula, measuring cups and spoons, ice cream maker, small ice cream scoop, microplane zester

7 C pink grapefruit juice—strained of pulp
1 C superfine sugar
2 teaspoons angostura bitters
1 teaspoon grenadine

1 1/3 C green avocado flesh
1/3 C superfine sugar
¼  C corn syrup
½ C  milk
¼ C  heavy cream
¼ C  lime juice

¼ C pomelo segments
1 T sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon grenadine
¼ C jicama
1 teaspoon lime zest


Combine grapefruit juice, sugar, bitters, and grenadine. Chill.
In a food processor, purée avocado, sugar, corn syrup, milk, and cream. When smooth, add lime juice. Chill. When well chilled, churn in ice cream maker. Freeze.
For the garnishes, gently pick apart the pomelo cells from the segment, eliminating any pith.
Combine lime juice, sugar, and grenadine.
Peel jicama and cut into 1/8 inch dice. Place in lime juice mixture. Zest the lime with microplane.

To serve, pour grapefruit juice in glasses. Scoop a dollop of avocado and float on top of juice.
Garnish with a few jicama brunoise and pommelo cells. Sprinkle with lime zest.


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