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grilled grapefruit “sundae” with pistachios, goat cheese, and basil vinaigrette

by Jackie Newgent  |  February 18, 2016  |  0 Comments

Grilled Grapefruit Sundae with Pistachios, Goat Cheese, and Basil Vinaigrette

I challenged myself to create a sundae concept with no added sugar. This loosely-interpreted sweet-and-savory version is the result! I made Sweet Scarletts the star of the show because I had so many of them on hand. Plus, the naturally sweet red grapefruit is seasonal, gorgeous, and delicious! In this recipe, they’re halved and brushed with extra-virgin olive oil for grilling to bring out savory notes. Then these caramelized delights are topped with sprinkles of goat cheese (or vegan nut cheese), fresh basil vinaigrette, and pistachios. It’s cuisine outside of the normal boundaries … and definitely worth it. Enjoy for dessert often, including on Meatless Monday! Or serve as a side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, if you prefer. The taste is memorable!

Calories saved: 258

Why it’s better for you? There’s no added sugar in this dessert. It’s got lots of vitamin C, too!

Disclosure: I received samples of Sweet Scarletts. I did not receive compensation for this recipe post. The recipe and opinions here are my own.

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grilled grapefruit “sundae” with pistachios, goat cheese, and basil vinaigrette

  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 Texas red grapefruits, such as Sweet Scarletts, halved
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese or soft vegan nut-based cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup roasted & salted pistachios
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. Remove any large seeds from the grapefruit halves. Brush the cut surfaces of the halves with the olive oil. Grill the grapefruit halves, cut side down, until rich grill marks form, about 5 minutes, rotating once. Flip over and grill the rounded side of each grapefruit half until heated through, about 3 minutes more.
  2. Arrange the grilled grapefruit halves on a platter or individual plates. Immediately sprinkle with the basil vinaigrette, goat cheese, pistachios, and black pepper, and serve.


Per serving: 170 calories, 11g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 15g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 5g protein

FRESH BASIL VINAIGRETTE Puree in a blender 1/4 cup each extra-virgin olive oil and golden balsamic or champagne vinegar, 6 large fresh basil leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Makes 4 servings; 2 tablespoons each. Store in the refrigerator.


  • Serving Size: 1 "sundae"

The “Before” Version

Compare to Grilled Banana Split Sundae

Per serving: 428 calories, 22g total fat, 10 g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 68mg cholesterol, 207mg sodium, 58g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g protein


Tasteover Tips

  • For a change of taste, try sweet-n-savory or sweet-n-salty combinations for dessert, rather than sweet on sweet.
  • Salt and pepper don’t need to be reserved for mealtime. Select desserts can be enhanced by either, especially a pinch of sea salt which helps to balance sweetness.
  • Herbs can add a unique accent to desserts, like the fresh basil vinaigrette does here.

Grilled Grapefruit Sundae with Pistachios, Goat Cheese, and Basil Vinaigrette

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