Sweet, sour and a little spicy, this Pomelo, Citrus and Mint Salad recipe is a refreshing side with grapefruit and mangos, perfect for backyard barbeques.
Happy 2015!! Well, we gobbled ’til we wobbled, we shopped ’til we dropped and we partied like it’s 1999.
And despite exercising what I thought was admirable restraint – my pants are just a wee bit tighter around the middle. After all the indulgent, rich and decadent foods that are part and parcel of the holiday season I am more than ready to get back to lighter, nutritious and delicious dishes – like this Pomelo, Citrus and Mint Salad.
Pomelo?? Yes, Pomelo… one of my recent finds on my almost weekly visit to my local middle eastern market. I’d never worked with them before so I grabbed a couple and hauled them home, not exactly sure what I was going to do with them. The arrival of Yottam Ottolenghi’s book “Plenty More” on Christmas quickly provided the answer in the form of this Pomelo, Citrus and Mint Salad. Native to Southeast Asia, pomelo’s are about the size of a large grapefruit with yellow and sometimes pink colored flesh and a thick rind. Flavorwise, they are similar to a grapefruit without the bitterness. After tasting them, my mind’s been spinning about all kinds of pomelo possibilities!
Like all of Ottolenghi’s dishes, this salad possesses an intriguing mix of flavors and textures – slightly sweet pomelo’s are marinated in a sweet and sour “marinade” and are tossed with peppery watercress with mint and cilantro adding a fresh, herbal note.
As the first dish of 2015, I think the year is off to a very good start!!!
Pomelo, Citrus and Mint Salad
- 5 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup superfine sugar
- 1 Tablespoon orange blossom water
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 cinnamon stick broken in half
- 1 ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger cut into thin strips
- 2 red or green chiles seed and cut into rings
- 1 large pomelo peeled and segmented
- 2 cara cara oranges peeled and segmented
- 1 mango peeled and cut into strips
- ⅔ cup cilantro leaves
- ⅓ cup mint leaves
- 4 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 cups watercress leaves
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts chopped
- Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the orange blossom water, star anise, cinnamon, ginger and chiles. Set aside.
- Pour the marinade over the pomelo and cara cara oranges and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the star anise and cinnamon sticks. Drain and reserve the marinade.
- Place the pomelo, cara cara oranges and chiles in a large bowl. Add 3 Tablespoons of the marinade. Add the mango, cilantro, mint, shallots watercress, peanut oil and lime juice. Toss and taste. If needed, add more marinade and season with salt. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and peanuts and serve.