Oranges, blood oranges, satsuma mandarins, grapefruit, AND THOSE GIGANTIC POMELOS!
The bright green skin and blushing pink flesh of a giant pomelo is striking. You'd think it was a cross between a grapefruit and a dinosaur egg, but pomelos actually aren't hybrids at all. A pomelo is sweeter and a quite a bit larger than a grapefruit (which is actually a cross between a pomelo and an orange).
The skin of a pomelo is super duper thick, and the pith is very very bitter. Fortunately, extracting citrus segments from their membranes is a task I thoroughly enjoy.
We'll be having this salad for our Christmas Eve dinner tonight. The sweet, tangy poppy seed dressing plays perfectly with the slightly bitter citrus and the creamy avocado. I used little gems here as that's what caught my eye at the market, but butter lettuce would also work beautifully. And it really is a beautiful salad - bright, festive, and interesting.
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.
LITTLE GEMS WITH POMELO, AVOCADO, AND POPPY SEED DRESSING
- citrus segments from a pomelo or grapefruit
- avocado slices
- little gem lettuces
For the poppy seed dressing (recipe adapted from Saveur)
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, finely grated, juice reserved
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
To make the poppyseed dressing, heat a small saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add poppy seeds, and cook, swirling pan constantly, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion with juice, and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add both oils, and blend until smooth; chill.
When ready to serve, arrange a few whole lettuce leaves onto individual plates, and top with a few citrus segments and avocado slices. Drizzle each salad with the chilled poppy seed dressing, and enjoy.