Recipe: Bitter Greens and Grapefruit


Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson's latest book, "The Rise," honors the traditions of Black cooks whose work has historically helped shape the American table, as well as leading figures in Black cuisine today. 

As featured in "The Rise," Samuelsson's recipe for Bitter Greens and Grapefruit is in honor of Jonny Rhodes, chef at the acclaimed neo-soul food restaurant Indigo in Houston.

This West African-inspired dish features a perfect sour note of grapefruit, which celebrates the bitter in the greens. Try pink grapefruit, which will allow you to get both sweet and bitter taste. The fritters provide texture and moisture. When all these fla­vors come together, the result is a very refreshing meal, perfect for hot weather.

Bitter Greens and Grapefruit

2 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon fermented shrimp paste
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1½ cups coarsely chopped mustard greens
1 cup diced green asparagus
½ cup fresh corn kernels
1 grapefruit, segmented over a bowl, juice and segments reserved
½ cup cubed (¼-inch) extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


For the greens:

Place the sambal, sugar, fish sauce, and shrimp paste in a small bowl and use a fork to mash and combine. Set aside.

Heat the peanut and sesame oil in a medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil shim­mers, add the peanuts and garlic and cook, stirring con­tinually, for 1 minute. Add the sambal mixture, mustard greens, asparagus, and corn. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the greens have wilted. Remove from the heat and add the grapefruit and its juice and the tofu and toss to combine and heat through.

From "The Rise" by Marcus Samuelsson with Osayi Endolyn. Recipes with Yewande Komolafe and Tamie Cook. Copyright © 2020 by Marcus Samuelsson. Photographs by Angie Mosier. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.         

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