After buying my pummelo (that is the spelling on the sticker, so I’m going with it) at Trader Joe’s, I had originally just planned on cutting the peel off and eating it.
But then so many of you had your own pummelo stories, and even more of you told me you couldn’t wait to see what I did with it. Uh oh – I guess I shouldn’t just shove it in my face on the couch then, huh? I decided to get a little more creative, and I’m sure glad I did…
Avocado & Citrus Wilted Spinach Salad
1 large citrus fruit (pummelo, grapefruit, or orange)
1 avocado, cut into strips
16oz bag fresh spinach greens
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper
To Prepare: Putting together this salad is super easy, but you do need to know how to supreme a citrus fruit. Don’t worry if you don’t already – I’m going to show you. While I used my new pummelo for this salad, you could easily sub in a grapefruit or large orange and get a similar result.
Start by trimming the top and bottom off of the fruit, so that it has a flat surface to sit on (and won’t roll around).
Then using a paring or small steak knife, cut around the fruit from the top to the bottom – following the natural curve of the fruit. FYI – this is also the way you remove the hard outer rind from a melon.
Work your way all around the fruit until all the outer peel is removed. With an orange or grapefruit, you would probably hit the fruity flesh on the first pass, but since this pummelo had such a crazy thick pith, it took two rounds of cutting to get down to the actual fruit.
Aha – there it is!
Continue to cut from top to bottom, following the curve, getting as close to the fruit as possible without cutting off too much excess. Don’t worry if a little bit of pith remains – you can always cut it off at the end.
Finally – all you should have remaining is the fleshy inside of the citrus fruit. So pretty! I was amazed at how little fruit was inside that giant pummelo.
Next, you need to cut the individual supremes from the fruit. You can see the white inner pith creating seams where each individual segment separates. Carefully, take you knife and cut inward right on the inside of the one of the segments…
Then turning your knife to cut in from the other direction, cut in along the left side until you reach the deepest point where your knife hit on the other side…
The supreme should pop right out!
Toss it in a small bowl, and continue to make your way around the fruit, carefully cutting out each segment. In culinary school I actually had to supreme an orange as part of one of my final practical exams, and the chef examined our segments for tearing to make sure our knives were sharp enough – scary!
Once all the supremes are cut from the fruit, you should have a big floppy and juicy pith left.
Hold it over a (separate) small bowl and give it a good SQUEEZE! You should be able to get about 1/2 cup of juice from the remaining fruit, depending on the size of the original.
Once you have finished, you’ll have one bowl with fruit segments, and another bowl with citrus juice. Good job!
Now peel and slice your avocado…
And toss that into the bowl with the fruit.
Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the remaining citrus juice.
Whisk together to combine, and then transfer to a tiny pot to heat on the stove (or you could also microwave). Bring the dressing up to almost a simmer…
While the dressing heats, add your spinach to a large salad bowl.
And then add the avocado and citrus supremes on top of the spinach…
Once the dressing is warm, pour it over the salad bowl. The heat from the dressing will wilt the spinach just enough to make this salad really come together perfectly. (Depending on how much spinach you use, you might not need it all of the dressing.)
Then toss well and serve in your favorite salad bowl!
Avocado and citrus go so well together, and the pummelo had the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the vinegar in the dressing.
Seriously – is it summer yet?
It’s still freezing cold here in Virginia, but until summer returns, at least I have delicious fruity salads like this to remind me of warmer days…