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 :).
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!