Rachel Cooks

Citrus Beef Skewers with Grapefruit and Garlic

I like factoids. Remember the butter factoids from Friday? Today I’m bringing you olive oil factoids from Bertolli.

  • Olive trees were grown as early as 1200 BC in Italy.
  • There are 800 million olive trees in the world.
  • An olive tree lives for between 300-600 years.
  • An average olive tree produces about 40 pounds of olives a year. This produces 3 to 4 liters of olive oil a year. It takes 11 pounds of olives to make one liter of oil.
  • There are about 395 varieties of olives grown in the world.
  • Like wine, olive oil has attributes of color, flavor, taste and smell.
  • Most olive harvesting is done by hand.
  • Bertolli’s oil goes through rigorous internal quality control standards. They meet and exceed regulations set by the International Olive Council and the European Union.
  • There are as many as 5mg of antioxidant polyphenols in every 10g of olive oil.
  • A 50g dose (4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil supplies enough oleocanthal (natural anti-inflammatory properties) to produce an effect equivalent to about 10% of the recommended dose of ibuprofen for adult pain relief. (Isn’t this interesting? You’d have to consume a lot of olive oil to get a full “dose” of ibuprofen, but I think it is cool nonetheless!)

Interesting right? And I have a recipe from Fabio. No…not that one. This one! You’ll know him if you are a fan of the show Top Chef. He has a fun accent and definitely knows his way around the kitchen. I adapted his recipe a bit, but it is written below as he wrote it. He wrote this recipe using Bertolli olive oil. They are launching a new website and a contest called the “Let’s Cook Summer Sweepstakes.” Anyone is eligible to enter the sweepstakes, and you could win a grand prize trip to LA for cooking lessons with Fabio Viviani, or $5,000 for a kitchen makeover. Cool, right? Head on over to Bertolli’s Facebook page to enter.

This campaign is highly focused on grilling and who doesn’t love to grill during the summer? Even if you don’t have a place to grill, pick up a grill pan and take it inside. You still get all the great flavors of the grill. We have a grill but….it needs a new tank of gas. So I grilled these skewers inside! I just have a small grill pan, but it doesn’t matter. I did them in batches, and let the first batch rest, tented under foil, while the second batch cooked. If you want to see more delicious grilled recipes, make sure to check out all of the other Virtual Potluck sites. 

Citrus Beef Skewers with Grapefruit and Garlic
recipe courtesy of Chef Fabio Viviani and Bertolli Olive Oil

6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Marinate Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 Tbsp. Bertolli® Classico Olive Oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 grapefruit (about ½ cup)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cubed
1 lb. cipollini onions
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 oz. cherry tomatoes

For marinade, combine Bertolli Classico Olive Oil, wine, garlic, grapefruit juice, and chopped fresh thyme in small bowl. Pour ½ cup marinade over beef in large shallow nonaluminum baking dish or plastic bag; turn to coat. Cover, or close bag and marinate in refrigerator about 3 hours. Refrigerate remaining marinade.

Remove beef from marinade, discarding marinade. Alternately thread beef, onions, peppers and tomatoes on skewers*. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Grill, turning once and brushing frequently with refrigerated marinade, 10 minutes or until desired doneness.

*If using wooden skewers, soak in water at least 30 minutes prior to use.

*Notes from Rachel:

  • I used ruby red grapefruit juice because my market didn’t have any grapefruits (out of season)
  • I used red onions instead of cipollini onions because the cipollinis were very large at my market and we don’t love the taste of raw onions. Although the red onions were still a bit under-cooked for our taste. If you’re not going for the pretty-factor, I recommend doing each item on a different skewer (onions all on one, tomatoes all on one, etc.) so that everything will be perfectly cooked. Then toss everything together in a bowl.
  • I used orange bell peppers instead of yellow because that is what I had in my house.
  • I used grape tomatoes instead of cherry. Just because.
  • My market = a grocery store. Market sounds so much fancier.
  • The bottle of white wine, minus 1/4 cup is still in my fridge. Ben doesn’t drink it, and me neither right now for obvious reasons. Who wants to come over and finish it off for me?

Verdict: Loved these skewers! I really liked the flavor of the marinated beef. I love thyme, and the olive oil and grapefruit were perfect touches.
Husband’s take: Beef. Vegetables. Grill. Love. Duh.
Changes I would make: As I mentioned earlier, I might do each item on a separate skewer to ensure more even cooking. (All onions on one skewer, for example.)
Difficulty: Easy!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bertolli. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

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49 Responses to “Citrus Beef Skewers with Grapefruit and Garlic”

  1. Miriam @ Overtimecook — June 18, 2012 at 6:55 am

    These look absolutely delicious, definitely going on my to-try list!

  2. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — June 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Oooh – I love the idea of a grapefruit marinade! These look so yummy for summer!

  3. Kathryn — June 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

    When I was at university, I wrote an essay about olives and learnt that they only produce a good crop every other year (this was in ancient times so I think it’s changed a bit now). I love olive oil facts!

  4. Tracey — June 18, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Skewers are my favorite, I love the use of the grapefruit in this recipe! Definitely going on our summer grilling list 🙂

  5. Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef — June 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I love Bertolli oil and almost always have it in the pantry.

    Olive trees – I felt very young around some really old trees in Italy. 🙂 Compared to those trees I’m just a whippersnapper. LOL

  6. Autumn@Good Eats Girl — June 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

    These look amazing! I love skewers and am always looking for a new recipe for them! And…I’ll be happy to take care of the rest of the bottle of wine for you! 😉

  7. Lois Christensen — June 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

    This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Lesa @Edesia's Notebook — June 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

    What beautiful kebabs! I love grapefruit but have never used it as a marinade before. Sounds great.

  9. shelly (cookies and cups) — June 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

    These look so good! I pulled them up and my husband walked behind me and said, “you need to make those!”

  10. Ashley — June 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Love these bright, beefy beauties!!

  11. Heather — June 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    i’m always looking for ways to incorporate grapefruit – the flavor is awesome!

  12. Julia — June 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Whenever we do kabobs we cook meat on one and veggies on another stick. Unless we want over cooked meat, or undercooked veggies 🙂 Your pictures look fantastic, now I’m craving kabobs for dinner!

  13. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — June 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Haha, I love using the word market instead of grocery store too. Like I’m going to a fancy store when its just the local place down the street. These look great! Perfect for summer grilling. 🙂

  14. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — June 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I LOVE FABIO! I screamed like a little girl when he responded to one of my tweets, haha. Definitely checking out this contest!

  15. Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm


  16. Deborah — June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Those are gorgeous – and I love the added citrus!

  17. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    And I just bought skewers! Perfect timing 🙂

  18. Cassie — June 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I love Bertoli oils! And these are so perfect for summer. We grill a lot of skewers in the summer, and I love the different flavors you chose!

  19. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama — June 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Love, love, love your first photo! And I don’t even eat meat 🙂

  20. deb h. — June 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    HUM..I think I’ll have to try these right now!….was trying to think of what to take for a freind’s 4th party….now I know! thanks

  21. Shawnie — June 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I never think to pair grapefruit as the citrus with meat… GREAT flavor combo.

  22. Jeffrey — June 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Your plate looks really fresh, I love the Asparagus. I planted some in my garden a couple of years ago and it still wasn’t thick enough this year to harvest, an absolute bummer.

  23. Julie @ Table for Two — June 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    wow, what a gorgeous presentation..really brings out the rich, vibrant colors of the veggies and those beef skewers are something i’d love to sink my teeth into! the grapefruit is a fun addition! wish i could have it though 🙁

  24. Bonnie K — June 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for all the olive oil factual information. The skewers looks good.

  25. Baking Serendipity — June 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I love grilling in the summer…especially skewers! I never would have thought to have paired the grapefruit here, but I love it!

  26. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — June 19, 2012 at 1:15 am

    The grapefruit was a surprise ingredient for me in this recipe but it sounds amazing.

  27. diabeticFoodie — June 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I kept looking for the grapefruit on the skewer! Grapefruit juice in the marinade sounds wonderful.

  28. The Food Hunter — June 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I’m drooling over these skewers

  29. Christopher Sorel — June 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    okay grapefruit with beef. Sounds strange but need to give it a try

  30. cindy — June 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I would love to finish off the wine, but only if you make me some of those luscious skewers to go with it. Cookistry sent me and Fabio.

  31. Jill J — June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    We love to grill whenever the weather’s nice – these look like a must try!

  32. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    What a great looking batch of skewers, Rachel! I LOVE to do these in the summertime and love your idea of adding grapefruit. Brilliant!

  33. Susan in the Boonies — June 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Grapefruit is such a surprising ingredient!

  34. Nichole — June 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    The majority of olive oils sold in the USA are not even ~close~ to real olive oil; instead they’re bland blends of chemically processed oils with some olive oil thrown. The Olive Oil labeling laws in the USA are a complete joke.

  35. moonsword — June 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    395 varieties of olives grown in the world…just think of it, you could have a different kind every day of the year and then some!
    Must try this recipe with portobello mushrooms, see if they hold up against the tangy grapefruit and tomatoes. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  36. Marnely Rodriguez — June 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Love the citrus and garlic combination!

  37. Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — June 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

    What a great flavor combination! I would love to try these. And I’d be happy to finish that bottle of wine for ya. 😉

  38. Susan 30A EATS — June 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I love the citrus beef skewers and also happen to love onion! Appreciate your adaptations, and the addition of grapefruit! I’ll stop by with Colleen^^ and finish that wine for you! 😉

  39. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Oh wow, I need to fire up the grill ASAP! I love those huge chunks of sirloin, and that grapefruit is such a wonderful addition.

  40. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — June 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Those skewers are talkin to me Rach. Love that recipe. Great photo too….droool!


  41. tara pittman — June 23, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Would have never thought to use grapefruit juice as a marrinade

  42. Debra Kapellakis — June 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

    The photo’s made my mouth water.

  43. Heather Neal — June 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

    To help you solve your problem with the wine, what about COPA? COPA is a brand of wine that has individual wine servings in a plastic wine shaped holder that is a perfect amount for cooking. If you have any left you can always freeze it into ice cubes and use it later on. http://copadivino.tumblr.com/

    • Rachel — June 28th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

      That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  44. Tara — May 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    We made these last weekend and they were wonderful! I skewers the beef with red onions, grape tomatoes, and bell peppers. It was a great recipe to help break in the grill for the summer.

    • Rachel Gurk — May 15th, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

      So glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know 🙂


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