An exclusive government monopoly on liquor sales is one of the peculiar features of life in Ontario. A holdover from the early 20th-century post-prohibition days, the continued existence of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (quite the bureaucratic-sounding name) is an example of the lobbying power of public service unions as well as a continual reminder that our provincial government still doesn't really quite trust us. It has been quite a few years since wine and liquor was stored behind a closed wall and customers had to write their order on a slip of paper in a bare Soviet-style room and have it delivered to them in brown parcel paper from behind a counter, but even now locations are few and far-between even in cities, and plastic bags have been discontinued; yes, half-a-dozen wine bottles get put in a handle-less paper bag, unless you bring your own bag or choose a box instead. So much for the customer always comes first philosophy.
Still, the Board has kept up with modern marketing trends and now the LCBO (yes, a user-friendly acronym) has turned itself into a snazzy, upscale brand with fancy furnishings and funky in-store signage. One of the best things to come out of this marketing consciousness is the LCBO's quarterly Food and Drink Magazine, an attractive and glossy high-production Martha Stewart Living-type giveaway featuring dozens of beautiful gourmet recipes in every issue.
So I was intrigued right away by the odd combination of flavors in this salad from an old Food and Drink Magazine and posted by one of my favorite food bloggers, Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs. Grapefruit, olives and radishes sounded like such disparate tastes that I never would have thought of putting them together myself, but given the reputation of both Ricki and the magazine I knew that it had to be worth a try.
Like so many other interesting suggestions the recipe ended up being bookmarked for a long time, but it finally got made with colorful and delicious results. As the unusual ingredients suggest, the overall effect is difficult to describe … Ricki calls the results "tart, salty, peppery, juicy," to which I can only add "fresh," "tangy," and "bizarrely appealing."
This salad is best eaten in one sitting as it will turn to liquid-y mush after only a short time … but finishing it off in one dinner didn't prove to be any problem at all! If you're ambitious and finicky, a more appealing and tantalizing result can be had by peeling the membrane off each of the grapefruit sections, but I'm afraid that I'm not the kind of girl to go to that kind of trouble except in extraordinary circumstances!
|Ricki's Radish and Grapefruit Salad|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
From Ricki Heller
Published on September 16, 2008
An unusual fresh, tangy and appealing summer grapefruit and olive salad with tart, peppery, salty and slightly sweet flavors — something entirely different to serve to your guests