here we go + broccoli slaw with caramelized grapefruit & avocado

broccoli slaw with caramelized grapefruit & avocado // brooklyn supperWe’ve been hinting at big news for a while now, and today we’re ready to come out with it. After months of planning and thought, Brian and I are leaving New York City. The ball started rolling when our landlord’s son got into a local college and we learned he’d be taking our apartment. Our neighborhood has changed considerably over the past eight years, with the check-cashing place becoming a fancy boutique, neighborhood pioneer Black Betty getting the heave-ho, a down-and-out warehouse becoming a Milkbar, and our favorite steakhouse taking up in a vacant storefront. And for a long time, we’ve embraced these changes and loved our block, but lately the thrill is gone. New York will always be changing, that’s what makes it New York, but the city has also grown increasingly expensive, and the oddballs and artists and natives that used to populate the neighborhood aren’t part of its future. And now, neither are we.

Ever since I quit my full-time job to stay home with our youngest daughter, I’ve been working four freelance jobs while also somehow being a full-time mom to our girls. And Brian has been stretched thin, too, with full-time work and childcare and blogging duties. As we looked at the prospect of our rent doubling or tripling, we realized we had a better shot at the kind of life we want in our native Virginia, where we’ll be able to work less, work more in this space, and have more time to live the good life.

You might be wondering about the “Brooklyn” part of “Brooklyn Supper” and, to be honest, it’s something we’ve wondered about, too. For now, we’ll just see how it sorts itself out. We still have a lot of business and many dear friends here, so while we’re leaving this apartment, we don’t plan to say goodbye to this borough or it’s food scene permanently. On a practical level, the seasons more or less line up in both places, so our seasonal recipes will still work for New Yorkers. Don’t worry! But our readers are the most important thing to us, so we’d really love to get your thoughts on this, too.

One thing is certain, we will keep showing up here at least a couple times a week and we’ll always love sharing our recipes and stories with you. In Virginia, we’ll have more space and a backyard, so we’re looking to include much more entertaining and gardening content here, since those were always some of our favorite things to do. Whatever the future holds (only good things, please!), this space will be part of what made it happen. My accidental blogging career has been the impetus for so many positive changes in our lives and truly amazing opportunities, and for that I’d like to thank you. Whoever you are out there, you’ve made a difference to us and we’re so, so grateful.

broccoli slaw with caramelized grapefruit & avocado // brooklyn supper

And now, a recipe. This post is long enough, so let’s skip the segway, shall we? Broccoli slaw is an inventive way to enjoy some of the first sprouts of spring. Tender young broccoli gets chopped up and is drizzled with a lightly sweet, smoky grapefruit-infused dressing. Caramelized shallots and grapefruit add a pleasant bitterness, while the avocado brings the creaminess that ties it all together. This recipe has a few steps, but is actually pretty easy to make. I think it would be a lovely addition to a dinner party menu or on its own as a special lunch.

Broccoli Slaw with Caramelized Grapefruit and Avocado
serves 4 as a side, 2 as a meal

for the caramelized grapefruit
2 large grapefruits
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

for the grapefruit dressing
juice of 1 large grapefruit, about ¾ cup
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt

for the slaw
1 large or 2 small heads broccoli, sliced paper thin with a mandoline or the slicing attachment on a food processor
1 large shallot, trimmed, peeled, and sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced

Use a peeler to slice of several 4 inch segments of grapefruit zest and slice into thin, 2 inch long strips. Set aside. Cut the softest grapefruit in half and juice it. You will need 3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut off the rounded bottom and top off of the two remaining grapefruits, and then carefully slice off the peel. Use a sharp knife to slice into ½ inch thick slices. Spread the sugar on a large platter and carefully press both sides of the sliced grapefruits into it. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet and then use a spatula to place the grapefruit slices in the hot oil. Cook each side for 2 – 3 minutes, and then carefully remove to a plate to cool. While the pan is still hot, add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

While the skillet is still hot, add the grapefruit juice. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to medium-high heat. Stir as the juice reduces, being sure it doesn’t burn. Cook for 7 – 8 minutes, or until the grapefruit juice has reduced to about a quarter cup. Pour off the juice and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the grapefruit juice reduction, the mustard, vinegar, garlic, and sea salt. Whisk in the olive oil.

Combine the broccoli, grapefruit zest, and cooked shallots in a large bowl. Drizzle in half the dressing, and toss. The slaw will absorb the dressing and release its juices as it marinates; the slaw will be great after 20 minutes and heavenly after a few hours.
When ready to serve, taste the slaw, add more dressing if needed, and then arrange on a plate and serve with sliced avocado and caramelized grapefruit slices.

Comments

  1. says

    Whoa! Huge but exciting news! I’m going to have to try and catch you in the city before you head out. PS—The thing I love most about blogging is it moves with you and gives you an instant community wherever you go. Made our latest move a little less lonely at first.

  2. says

    Congrats on the big move! I hope so many good things come from it. I was wondering what you were going to do with that caramelized grapefruit and the slaw looks divine!

  3. says

    Soooooo liberating to leave NYC! Good luck with everything, and please keep us updated. I will be country living vicariously through you!

    • says

      Hi Alexa, Thanks so much! It does feel liberating, but I’m also vaguely afraid that I’ll melt or something when we leave. I promise to share as much of the country life as I can here too, so you can get your fix.

  4. says

    How exciting (though I know sad too)! Best wishes to you and your fam! Can’t wait to see where this takes you :)

    And this broccoli slaw looks so fresh and amazing.

  5. says

    Congratulations on deciding to move! I hope it all works out brilliantly for you. Virginia sounds like a wonderful place to raise a family, so I’m sure you are going to love it.
    Cheers,
    Sarah

  6. says

    This is such exciting news, Elizabeth! Brooklyn (and I) will definitely miss you, but I’m eager to see all the good things to come for you and your family in Virginia!

  7. says

    Hello, there! I just read your post and it took me back…about 2 years. At that time we were renting in Prospect Heights (and then briefly Greenwood Heights, aka South Park Slope). We were living in about 600 square feet when our first son Otis was born, and I too left the workforce due in part to the cost of day care and in part because my assignment came to an end. After the birth of our second son, our quality of life went downhill…fast. The decision to move on a practical level was easy. But moving away from our entire family (my great-great-great grandparents arrived in NYC around 1880– so the roots are deep) and our large circle of friends was difficult. There were tears. But now it’s been about 20 months and we just bought our first home. It’s an 1895 historic house in the beautiful Congress Park section of Denver. And I’ve never been happier. We’ve got a willow tree in our backyard, a soon-to-be herb garden, tomatoes, strawberries…and we hosted our very first outdoor dinner last week (PS: not on a fire-escape “terrace!”!) It’s the real deal. We’ve got some real characters here– perhaps because they are all moving out of NYC and SF and other costly cities. I’ve said many times that there isn’t much left in NYC that reminds me of my childhood (except for the museums)…but you’re right– cities change. And so do we. We found happiness in Colorado. I hope you find the same sort of thing in Virginia.

    • says

      Hi Batya, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story here. It fills me with optimism. We are in such a similar situation. With our toddler now walking/running/climbing everywhere, our 700 sq. foot apartment seems to be shrinking by the minute. Thank you so much for the encouragement and for sharing your terrific success story! It sounds as though you’ve built a wonderful home for you and your family out there.

  8. says

    Exciting news for your fam! Any pursuit of the good life is 100% proper in my books. A little space, a garden and freed up time sounds pretty lovely. And you are so very right about NY. My man and I have been visiting friends and doing projects there a lot over the last 3 years and just in those in between spaces, it’s crazy how things shift.

    And obviously I’m into this salad. 3 of my favourite ingredients! Lovely, Elizabeth.

  9. Gail {A Stack of Dishes} says

    Congrats on the move! I too am leaving NYC after a raising my three kids and heading for Louisiana. I love NY, but there is a season…

    I hope that this move opens up your time and creative space to new and wonderful things.

    No taking the Brooklyn outta the girl!

  10. says

    Now I’m even sadder that I won’t be at Altnyc! But it sounds exciting and it sounds right for you. This part of your life (the living in Brooklyn part) will end but as you note, the relationships and friendships will ep on goin.

    I’m excited to see what impact a move to Virginia will have – I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of creative inspiration.

  11. says

    All the best to you, Brian and Elizabeth!!
    I took my leave from NYC early last year when the time was ripe for me… So hard, but happy to be making the transition, albeit a slow hard one!, to a different life in the midwest. So glad for the Williamsburg experience – met so many of the best folks* -you guys!

    Camille

    p.s. so nice to see you wearing that ruby necklace in your bio pic. : )

  12. says

    Gosh, what huge news! I can’t even imagine how you two juggle everything, and it sounds like Virginia will be a great place for your family (and your sanity!). Five years ago I moved from LA to Portland, for a lot of the same reasons. It’s hard, but it’s good..

    In any case, all the best of luck with the move!

    Oh, and the recipe? Fabulous, as always.

    • says

      Hi Erin, Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the recipe! Even though everything but citrus is in season right now, I am looking forward to trying my hand at a few more caramelized citrus recipes in the winter.

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