Here, Taste This : Citrus and Avocado Salad

Grapefruit might be my favorite fruit. Right next to peaches. And mangoes. And perfectly ripe strawberries. And juicy sweet blueberries.

I like fruit, is what I'm saying.

But I do think citrus fruit is perfectly gifted to be in season right now, when deepest, darkest winter has set in and we are all fogged in by the relentless grind of being indoors and eating root vegetables at every meal. (Californian friends, just nod and act like you know what I'm talking about.) A bright pink grapefruit, a sunny orange, even a gleaming lemon, remind us of summer days and warm breezes and a sky as clean and fresh as the juice dripping down our chin.

This salad can be a butt-load of work, I'm not going to lie to you. (Of course, I have time-saving tips; see below.) But it so exquisitely combines the tang of citrus with the butteriness of avocado and the zip of pomegranate seeds, it's worth it.

(my apologies for the pitiful picture; apparently, I have few pictures of this salad because I'm too busy eating it immediately)

Citrus and Avocado Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

3 oranges, segmented
2 grapefruits, segmented
2 avocados, sliced
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
spring greens or spinach

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste

1. First, make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients and blending until emulsified.
2. Section the fruits and slice the avocados. (More on that below.)
3. Place greens or spinach on plate; arrange citrus and avocado on top. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds and drizzle with dressing.

1. Segmenting citrus sounds so scary, doesn't it? "Here, Dr. Watson, take these grapefruit in the back and SEGMENT them." But it's not, I promise. It takes more patience than skill. Here's a great video by Mario Batali that shows you exactly how to do it, accompanied by kicky jazz and snarky subtitles.

2. My favorite time-saving tip of the year: If you have a Costco near you, look for their cups of ready-to-eat grapefruit in the cooler section. They are already segmented pink grapefruit stored in juice and OH MY WORD, they are the best. I bought my first box to use for this salad, and  I've turned into a raving grapefruit lunatic, now that I can eat them all the time without any prep work involved.
3. You know how to deal with avocado, right? Again, not hard. Just takes patience. Here's another awesome video that shows you the basics.

4. And here's where I would show you a video of how to get pomegranate seeds out of a pomegranate - which, OK, I'll show it to you anyway, because it's just cool and clever, and it's a fun thing to do with kids, if you have some who are interested in cooking. Plus, the pomegranate is one of the most gorgeous, sensuous fruits out there. Did you know many cultures believe it was the fruit that the serpent used to tempt Eve?

BUT! If you don't want to go through the trouble, you can now buy pomegranate seeds in most grocery stores. Look for fresh arils in the produce section, often under the brand name Pom-Poms.
5. One last tip: I'm a dressing minimalist, so I usually make half the dressing called for, or I save it for another day. This salad is delicious enough just with the flavors involved. It should not be drowned in goop. If you do, I will be forced to give you the disapproving dog face.

You've been warned.

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