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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let's Have a Club

Though my friend Deborah and I are separated by 3,000 miles, we still keep in touch as though we are sitting together at her kitchen table drinking coffee.  It's been that way from the day I met her 17 years ago.  We are twin sisters from another mother.

Deborah and I agree on all the important things: the earliest possible date at while wearing white pants is appropriate (in May a week or two before Labor Day, if it's sunny), when it is advisable to wear sheer panty hose (rarely), and whether it's really cost effective to buy a 12-pack of mangoes at Costco even though there's always the risk of throwing half of them away.  All the really big things.

We also agree on the all of the big child raising issues.  We have had many a cell phone call discussing the pros and cons of homework, college preparedness, and teaching children the importance of funeral etiquette.  (You can laugh, but knowing how to behave at a funeral is a learned skill.)

But I digress.

If we lived in the same city, and if we had oodles of free time, we might actually put together a book club.  It's not anything we've ever really pondered, but it seems like something we might do.  So, when the other day, Deborah suggested that we read a couple of books together, I was game.

We ordered from Amazon and our books have arrived.  Yay!

We're starting out with The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan.  This is just the kind of book I love and I can't wait to dig in.

This recipe for Pink Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad With Dates and Pistachios is just the sort of thing I might make if Deborah and I were sitting at my kitchen table talking about The Red Book and pondering life.  And white pants.  And funeral etiquette.

Recipe:  Pink Grapefruit and Radicchio Salad With Dates and Pistachios
(Melissa Clark, New York Times, April 6, 2012


2 pink or red grapefruits
2 medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 medium shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt, to taste
1 small head radicchio, halved and cored
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
Freshly ground black pepper.


Slice the top and bottom off one of the grapefruits. Stand it up on a cut side and, using a small sharp knife, slice off the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Save the peels (there should be some red fruit clinging to the pith). Repeat with the other grapefruit. Slice both grapefruits into quarter-inch-thick rounds and arrange on a platter. Evenly sprinkle the dates on top.

Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit peel into a small bowl. You should have about a tablespoon. If there is less, squeeze some from one of the grapefruit slices. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt; let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the radicchio and add to a bowl. Add the shallot and grapefruit juice and toss to combine. Toss in 3 tablespoons of the oil.

4. Sprinkle grapefruit slices with salt and drizzle with the remaining oil. Place a mound of the radicchio in the middle of the grapefruit, leaving a border of the fruit exposed. Sprinkle with pistachios and black pepper and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

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