Pink grapefruit, avocado and watercress salad

Pink grapefruit, avocado and watercress salad

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This elegant, light salad is ideal to serve as a first course. Pink grapefruit and peppery watercress cut the richness of avocado, and a scattering of toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil in the dressing suggest a flavour of early autumn. Parma ham is a graceful inclusion, but you can leave it out for a lighter vegetarian salad if you like.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
16 shelled hazelnuts
bunch watercress
1 pink grapefruit
1 ripe avocado
8-12 slices parma ham
8-12 wafer-thin slices young pecorino, (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
40ml mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil

Method

  1. First make the dressing. Combine the mustard and sherry vinegar in a bowl and add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, followed by the hazelnut oil to emulsify, then set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the nuts on a baking tray and roast in the middle of the oven for 3–4 minutes to warm and release their flavour. Turn into a cloth and rub gently to remove the skins, then roughly chop the nuts.
  3. For the salad, wash the watercress and gently pat dry. Peel the grapefruit, removing all the pith, then cut out the segments over a large bowl to catch the juice as well as the segments. Halve, stone and peel the avocado, then cut into slices, similar in size to the grapefruit. Add to the grapefruit with the watercress and toss gently with your fingers to mix.
  4. If the dressing has separated on standing, give it a whisk, then drizzle half of it over the salad and toss lightly, so you don’t break up the avocado or grapefruit. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Arrange the salad on a plate, interleaving the Parma ham slices and pecorino if using, with the watercress, grapefruit and avocado. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and drizzle over the remaining dressing. Finally, scatter over the hazelnuts and serve.
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