Thursday, January 26, 2012

Citrus Week Day One: Pummelo

Gun's blazing!

Coming in hot with this first one; pummelo.

This big guy is pretty cool; and the base fruit for many crosses, such as minneolas, tangelos and grapefruits, which makes him a team player as well.

Big right?

I've had some good pummelos. This particular one was a little under-ripe; it wasn't fully fleshed red yet, but it still had a nice flavor. I thought that it would act well in a salad. It was sturdy and pretty tasty, but felt more like an ingredient than just a eat-right-away kind of fruit. Not so much acid,a pleasant tartness, and a tough membrane all-around.


This freaking meal was awesome.

I roasted some sweet potatoes with coconut oil and pummelo zest.
Made some garbanzos with dark greens and coconut milk.
That's right, you are seeing cilantro. It's fantastic.
I used it with a quick pummelo and white onion salad with lime juice.
The pummelo zest was delicious with the sweet potatoes, and the combination with the fresh pummelo was tantalizing as well.

 Extra points for a pummelo bowl. Hollowed out.

I could eat those tubers all day long, but the overall dish had a lot of bright flavors that popped and stood out.
What it really needed was a fat grilled fish. Or a small one. Grilled fish stuffed with ginger would have been amazing with this.

And actually, this whole dish, all three components, created a vegan meal.

The coconut tied the greens and beans, and the potato dishes together, and the pummelo was the bridge between the salad and the potatoes.

The beans and greens, I wasn't crazy about. I wanted to use a more tender greens, but used some really heavy, sturdy dark greens because that's all that was available at the moment. I also thought that overall it need to be tinkered with a little more to coax some more of the flavors and help meld the coconut more. I was still pleased with this dish, and may turn it into a hardy soup.

Recipe time!

Roasted sweet potatoes with zest
40 mins plus prep time
Sweet potato
Pummelo zest, or other citrus zest
Coconut Oil

This one is super easy. (three ingredients!)
Peel and cube as much sweet potatoes poundage as you want to use. I used about a pound, but its a really simple recipe and is easy to double or half.
Preheat the oven to 375
Get your hands on some zest! I suggest limes, grapefruits, pummelos, orange or tangerine.
Julienne about 4 square inches of zest per pound of starch.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil, throw your tubers on top, sprinkle the zest on - nestling it into some crevices and such.
Take a hefty tablespoon of coconut oil for every pound of tuber, and dot the sheet with it.

Throw these bad boys in the oven!

After about twenty minutes, take a look at them, and if they are starting to caramelize, flip them over.
At this point, I turned my foil sheet into a pack, wrapping the ends tight and sealing the flavors. The aromatics from the coconut and pummelo really come through when the packet method is used.
In another twenty minutes, check to see if they are soft, if so, serve!

Quick Pummelo Salad
1/2 a pummelo
1/2 a medium white onion
1 cup cilantro
lime juice

This is another real simple, real delicious component to the meal that can be adapted for many things. This alone would be fantastic on a grilled fish.

I used half a pummelo and half a medium sized white onion, but you can use a whole if you want to make that much.
Peel the pummelo and take the skin off the segments, break the pummelo into bite size pieces.
Julienne your white onion and put it into a bowl with cold water and a splash of vinegar - you want enough liquid to cover every thing. This step takes the bite off the onions and makes them more palatable raw.
Finely dice a seeded and cored jalapeno, and about one cup of cilantro. I LOVE CILANTRO.
After about ten minutes of soaking, dry the onion off in a salad spinner, and mix with the pummelo, cilantro and jalapeno. Add the juice from one lime, and salt to your taste. I used a little over a teaspoon of salt.
Combine and toss! Done!
This is seriously good. Fresh and tropical, an excellent way to escape January!

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