This is a salad in jewel tones of ruby, pink and green. The flavors, too, provide notes of contrast: suave and tender mâche partners sassy grapefruit in a kind of snappy salad repartée: the Fred and Ginger of the salad world. You may use one pink grapefruit or one red grapefruit, or half of each which I think is prettier. Pomegranate seeds add color, sweetness and crunch. The secret ingredient, ume-plum vinegar--a beautiful shade of pink from shiso leaf, punches up the dressing with fruity salt and sour flavors. It is worth seeking out: keep a supply in your pantry to brighten all kinds of salads. You might add a garnish of sliced toasted almonds or toasted sesame seeds to this one, if desired. —creamtea
Test Kitchen Notes
This refreshing salad was a breeze to pull together—perfect for an easy weeknight side dish. The flavors of the finished salad are clean and subtle, even with the splash of sour ume plum vinegar. Next time, I will up the acidity and salt in the dressing and season the fruit and greens before tossing in order to brighten the final profile of the finished salad. —Kate Williams
For the Salad
medium head butter lettuce, the leaves washed, spun dry and torn into bite-size pieces
In a serving bowl or plate, arrange the butter lettuce and then the mâche. Lift lightly with hands to slightly toss-it doesn't have to be completely mixed.
Remove arils from pomegranate half: in kitchen sink over a large bowl, hold pomegranate half, cut side down in cupped hand over a large bowl. Using a rubber mallet, or the convex side of a large serving spoon or a gravy ladle (I use the latter), lightly pound the skin of the pomegranate all over. Seeds will loosen and drop out into your hand and can be emptied into the bowl. Repeat until all the seeds are removed. Pick over the seeds in the bowl to remove membrane or any paler seeds.
Just before serving, peel and thinly slice avocado. Drizzle a few spoons of dressing over lettuces. Arrange the avocado decoratively over the lettuce, then the grapefruit segments., then the sliced shallot Drizzle with more dressing, scatter pomegranate arils over the top, and serve immediately.
For the Lemon-Ume Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup--more than enough for this salad. Extra dressing may be refrigerated.
In a bowl, whisk juices, ume-plum vinegar and salt
Add oil in a thin stream, whisking until incorporated. Sample a bit on a lettuce leaf and adjust seasoning. It should be perky.