Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays With Dorie - Crab and Pomelo Salad

Saturday, March 31, 2012

French Fridays With Dorie - Crab and Pomelo Salad

It was quite a challenge to make people eat crab ice cream.
~ Heston Blumenthal

For this week's French Fridays with Dorie, our recipe to try out was Crab and Grapefruit Salad, a colorful and fanciful appetizer to be enjoyed best during warmer weather. Before I write further, here are my two disclaimers: 1. I did not use crab ice cream to make this salad, and 2. I do not dislike grapefruit...in fact, I quite like its strong bitter-citrus flavor. 


What I did use was canned crabmeat that unfortunately didn't come in big chunks, and pink-fleshed Thai pomelo because I couldn't find any Ruby Red grapefruit in the stores. If I could've gotten my hands on peeled, fresh grapefruit sections in a jar like Kathy did, you bet I would've used that!

Why pomelo? Well, it's very similar to grapefruit, except that it's larger and sweeter, without the bitterness of grapefruit. In Asia, and Thailand particularly, the juicy pomelo flesh is very often added to salads and also to refreshing fruit juices such as orange or lime. I love the sensation of the flesh bursting as I bite into it, releasing its sweet juices on my tongue.


Pale pink-fleshed, sweet Thai pomelo

In Dorie's recipe, there was the option to add chilli pepper and bell peppers. While I incorporated thinly sliced chilli (deseeded) into the salad, I chose to replace the bell peppers with Rose Apple or Jambu instead. This is a tropical fruit, crisp and waxy on the outside, with a 'fluffy' interior on the inside. When ripe, it bears a strong, pleasant bouquet. Often I try to make a recipe work with whatever ingredients I have in stock but on this occasion, I'll admit that I had forgotten to buy those darn bell peppers :). 

Rose apple

A squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, spring onions and cucumber slices finished off the salad (no greens sadly, I ate the last of them in a sandwich earlier in the day). I arranged mine in open-topped glass yoghurt jars which created a whimsical yet elegant look to the salad. Admittedly the salad looked rather pale and unexciting sans the Ruby Red, but the pale pink hue of the pomelo made the salad attractive in a different, more serene way. What's more important is of course the way it tasted, which was deliciously divine! So good. 


This super simple recipe is on page 134 of Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table, a superbly instructional and award-wining cookbook that will have you cooking French food like you were born to do it! The other Doristas and I cook the same recipe every week, sometimes tweaking them with our own variations. For this week's versions of this salad, click here.


PS. There's a reason why this post is a bit late. It's my birthday weekend and the last thing I wanted to do was stay cooped up in front of my computer, writing a blog post (yes, call me Mademoiselle Last Minute!). This Lesley Gore tune suddenly came to mind.... "It's my party and I blog if I want to, blog if I want to..."

Have a great weekend filled with sunny skies, everyone!

31 comments:

Rita D K Simmons said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Lovely post yours came out great!

Cher Rockwell said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! (I was hollering, but you probably couldn't hear me over there...)
I (heart) pomelo - they definitely don't get enough attention & your salad looks lovely. I am thinking about crab ice cream now, though...

Ei said...

Happy birthday!! There are definitely better things to do than sit around blogging, so I hope you were out having fun. I've never had a pomelo. I've seen them, but didn't really know what they were. I'll check one out. And that rose apple looks crazy! I want one!

Tobias @ T and Tea Cake said...

Happy Birthday, dear!

Ohh, Pomelo me friend! They're hardly seen in the blogosphere for some reason and that alone makes your post here extra special and me liking it even more! ;)
I like the firm and not too juicy texture along with the slight touch of bitterness. It really is less of a substitute but more of an improvement here, I'd say. It can just be a pain in the neck to get the flesh out of the peel, right?

Never heard of jambu, though. My interest is piqued and I will keep an eye out.

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

Very cool serving it in jars!! I love it.....

Betsy said...

Happy Birthday Maya!!!!
I think this would work with a variety of citrus, so I'm intrigued by the Thai pomelo. Your whimsical salad is gorgeous.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Happy Birthday Maya! Not sure if my previous comment went through, so I'm sending it just in case... (you can delete one of them if you see both comments). I love pomelo and rose apple seems familiar - it looks like one I eat in Taiwan, but forgot the name at this moment. Very refreshing salad!

www.you-made-that.com said...

The salad looks so pretty in the the jars with the onion poking out and the pretty pink pomello. Happy Birthday and I don't blame you I wouldn't have wanted to stay couped up either.

Foodiva said...

Rita, thank you for your kind wishes!

Foodiva said...

Cher, I hear you girl! But thanks for hollering the birthday cheers, anyway. You need lots of practice to cheer on your athletic kids on the sidelines anyway, lol.

Don't get me started on the crab ice cream....you know I most probably will attempt it! :/

Foodiva said...

Ei, you and Matt really need to come out to Asia and get your teeth into some rose apples. They have the best texture and scent. In fact, I have a tree out here in my garden, but of the green variety of rose apple. Thanks so much for the wishes!

Foodiva said...

Tobias, yes, so glad to hear that you know a lot about grapefruit! And yes, getting the flesh out is a pain because the segments always break into little pieces that go all over the place, lol. Your next challenge now will be to search for those jambus!

Foodiva said...

Gerry Coolness, we all may not have wine glasses, but I'm sure we all have some glass jars stashed away somewhere, right? :)

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Betsy! I'm sure you'll love pomelo if you tasted it. In fact, I'm now wishing I can mail you over a fruit! Haha...

Foodiva said...

Nami, only one comment went through, so good thing you sent it twice! Thank you for your kind thoughts, my dear. I'm sure that fruit you had in Taiwan was rose apple, they are so ubiquitous in Asia!

Foodiva said...

Suzanne, thank you so much. I had to make some ingredients poke out of the jars and say "Look at me!" because the overall colors inside were a bit bland! LOL.

Priscilla @ShesCookin said...

Happy Birthday, Maya! I've never seen rose apple here - at first glance I thought it was a pepper! A perfect salad for summer and I love your exotic take on Dorie's recipe.

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, Maya!! Wonderful post! I love all your takes on this salad…how wonderful to give it a tropical feel! And your presentation is beautiful!

Nana said...

Lovely presentation of the salad. Now that you
explained what the pomelo is, I am going to try
one. I have often seen them at the market but did
not know how to use them. Thanks for all the
information. Happy that you enjoyed this recipe, and a very Happy Birthday.

jen laceda said...

i absolutely love pomelos!!! crab...not so much :( i know, i know...i"m one of those people. but seriously, this looks like a good, practical recipe.

Marie said...

Happy birthday! The pomelo substitution was a good choice, and you've really intrigued me with your description and photo of the rose apple. I'm pretty sure I've never seen it, but I'll be looking for iti now.

Julie said...

I love that you used pomelo!

Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) said...

Happy Birthday, Maya! I hope you've had great fun celebrating. Love the combination of flavors in this salad. :)

Adriana said...

"You would blog (late) too if it happened to youuuu"

I hope you had a great birthday weekend, Maya. I would have never thought of adding the rose apples to the salad. They grow here in Puerto Rico too (we call them pomarrosas), but I don't like them too much by themselves. The green onion sprigs look so cool like that.

Vicki Bensinger said...

I find it simply amazing how you can transform any dish into something so exotic looking. You are quite the artist and chef!

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely presentation and combination

Maya Mohd said...

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes, Doristas and friends! Glad - you liked the salad too...I ate all 3 portions to myself as the kids were afraid to come near them. They like their crabs still in the shells! :)

Maya Mohd said...

LOL, Adriana...you totally crack me up! Now I can't get that tune and your new lyrics out of my mind! :))

Lacy @ NYCityEats said...

This is gorgeous!! I love pomelo, not that I don't love grape fruit but pomelo is a recent discovery of mine so I'm a little obsessed! This salad sounds so good with the chilis and rose apple (never saw that before - it's beautiful!). Wonderful recipe!

Maya Mohd said...

Lacy, I hope you'll discover rose apples soon and maybe THAT will be your next obsession! :)

Spicie Foodie said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your Birthday weekend away from the computer. Your salad sounds incredible. I've never tried crab and grapefruit or pomelo, sounds like a great combo. Pomelo's are so popular here and I need to go run out and buy one now.

Related Posts with Thumbnails