Caramelized Grapefruit, Avocado, and Watercress Salad with Grapefruit -

Caramelized Grapefruit, Avocado, and Watercress Salad with Grapefruit

Yield:  4 servings

4 large grapefruits
1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches watercress, trimmed of their tough stems
2 large ripe but firm Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch

• Using a serrated knife, cut a disc off the top and bottom of 2 of the grapefruits, slicing through the peel and pith to expose the flesh.  Set each grapefruit on one cut end and cut downward, following the contours of the fruit, to remove all the skin and the pith, exposing the flesh.  Cut the grapefruits crosswise into 4 even rings and carefully place them on a parchment-lined platter.

• Add the sugar to a medium bowl.

• Warm a large non-stick skillet over high heat.

• While the skillet is heating, dredge the grapefruit slices in the sugar and transfer back to the platter.   

• When the skillet is piping hot, panfry the grapefruit slices for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes each side, until they are golden and caramelized.  You may do this in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.  With a spatula, carefully transfer the grapefruit back to the platter and refrigerate until cold.

• While the grapefruit is cooling, juice the remaining grapefruits and transfer their juice to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, quickly lower the heat to medium, and simmer to reduce the juice to 3 tablespoons, 8 to 10 minutes.  Immediately transfer the juice to an upright blender and set aside to cool. 

• Make the vinaigrette by adding the vinegar, mustard, garlic, mint, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender and slowly pouring in the oil with the blender going.  Salt and pepper to taste.

• In a large bowl, combine the watercress, the avocado, and enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad.  Gently toss to coat evenly.

• Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates.  Top each salad with 2 grapefruit slices and serve immediately.

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