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It’s no mystery that a salad with seafood and citrus can satisfy most appetites, but the citrus in this recipe might surprise you.

Sometimes, on rare occasion, when not minding my manners, I can dish out a bite of food snobbery. It’s simply passion talking, however, when singing the praises of fleur de sel, or insisting on a beautiful purple heirloom tomato, or debating whether or not Red O is worthy of a month in advance reservation. Make no mistake, I get just as much delight digging out forkful after forkful of Kraft macaroni and cheese from the pot, while standing over the stove. Classy.

When this same gal received fruit from the produce peddlers thatlookedlike a citrus the size of a head, she should have known what it was. Instead, she was clueless, which showed she really didn’t know fruit from fruitopia.

So, I posted a photo of mystery fruit on Facebook and immediately got the answer from the farmers who said, “it’s apomelo (you idiot).”Ah of course pomelo.

What’s a pomelo?

If you are citrus savvy please move to the next paragraph, but everyone else who wondered as did I, the pomelo is a citrus native to Southeast Asia. It’s the largest citrus fruit (duh) and is most close to a grapefruit. Its pith is thick and its fruit sweeter and milder than grapefruit. Emma, my friend from Boliva, said she grew up making fruit drinks from pomelo juice. Emma also had to tell me it’s pronounced “puh’-me-lo” not palm- mellow (duh).

My nonagenarian nutritionist once told me that it was essential to eat one citrus fruit a day for balance and fiber. It was likely also for the rich benefits of that fruit.

To borrow an excerpt from WH Foods: You may already know that citrus is an excellent source ofvitamin C-just one orange supplies 116.2% of the daily value for vitamin C-but do you know just how important vitamin C and citrus are for good health? Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells.

Pomelo, having a sweeter pulp, was a perfect combination for a crab salad. My longtime favorite recipe source for fresh, simple meals, South Beach Diet, offered this idea that they borrowed from, of all places, a famed steakhouse. To make it even easier, I used packaged crab meat that came in the new vacuumed sealed foil packaging, like tuna fish. Not sure it was the freshest, but refrigerated, it tasted just fine and when it was prepared in a matter of seconds, it tasted delicious.

When combined with pomelo, asparagus, red bell peppers and a citrus vinaigrette, this is one complete meal that would make a ninety year-old nutritionist proud.

crabmeat & citrus salad

Preptime: 20 minutes Serves 4

12 pieces large asparagus or bunch of thin

2 c mixed baby greens

1/2 lb crabmeat

12 pieces pomelo (or grapefruit)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 T minced chives

Citrus Vinaigrette:

1 t Dijon mustard

1 T lemon juice

1 T lime juice

1 T orange juice

1/3 extra virgin olive oil

S & P

  1. Blanch asparagus. Submerge for two minutes in boiling, salted water and then immediately plunge into a water ice bath (snobbery), I mean ice water in a bowl, to cool. Then drain and dry.
  2. Make the Citrus Vinaigrette: Combine mustard & juices. Slowly whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Season with s & p.
  3. Assemble salad: Lay 3 large or 6 thin asparagus spears on the plate. Top with 1/2 cup greens. Add 1/4 of the crabmeat on top of the greens. Arrange pomelo (grapefruit) sections around the crabmeat. Sprinkle on the red pepper.
  4. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and then top with the chives.

recipe inspired by south beach diet cookbook who borrowed it from smith & wollensky and is provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


  1. Dr. April says Mar 4th 2011 12:38 am

    OMG!! Buster would have never worn a pumelo beenie. Your cat has been beaten into submission growing up with the kids!

  2. Sherri says Mar 4th 2011 10:32 am

    Okay – the cat’s out of the bag – not my cat, not my pomelo or my pummelo or pumelo! Swiped the photo online, then couldn’t find the original poster to give credit – only swipers.

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