OK, so the Super Bowl parties and Buffalo wings are history but Valentine's Day and Carnevale are still looming. With those February holidays come a plethora of temptations from cakes and candies to the ubiquitous fried cookies and treats found in Italy at this time of year. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to resist all these goodies. That's why I try to behave myself in the hiatus between all the indulgences.
This salad fits the bill for me for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I know there are more delicious concoctions ahead in the next few weeks that will be hard to resist. So I'm taking the opportunity now to lighten my eating habits in anticipation of the next great eating binges. And trust me, there will be plenty ahead, including a few decadent recipes in the coming weeks right here on Ciao Chow Linda.
Join me for a week in Italy at the end of May and live like an Italian - sightseeing, cooking and eating in a villa located in the Alban Hills near Rome. There's still time to enroll. Go to www.cookinitalywithciaochowlinda.blogspot.com for details.
Pink Grapefruit, Avocado and Pomegranate Salad with Nasturtium Flowers
Adapted from "Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume" by Silvena Rowe
(The plate in the photo is only 1/2 of this recipe below.)
- 2 pink grapefruits
- 2 large avocados
- 24 leaves fresh purple basil
- 1 large pomegranate
- 3 T. white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 t. prepared mustard
- 1/2 t. pomegranate molasses (I didn't feel like running to the store, so I used reduced balsamic vinegar instead)
- 1 t. ground sumac (Williams-Sonoma sells it, but if you can't find it, leave it out.)
- 6 to 8 fresh nasturtium flowers (It's winter in NJ and fresh nasturtium flowers are impossible to find, so I substituted candied violets and they were great as a sweet, crunchy contrast to the salad and dressing)
- purple basil leaves
Peel the grapefruits, then cut into sections. Peel and slice the avocados, and deseed the pomegranate. I found it easiest to do this by cutting the pomegranate in half, then in half again. Hold each quarter of the pomegranate in the palm of your hand, skin side up, over a plate. With your other hand, take a spoon and rap hard against the outer skin of the pomegranate. Most of the seeds will fall down into your hand or on a plate you have placed underneath. Arrange the grapefruit sections, avocado slices and pomegranate seeds on a plate. Mix the dressing: salt, vinegar, oil, mustard, pomegranate molasses and sumac. Pour over the salad and decorate with the purple basil leaves, and edible flowers.