When choosing recipes to feature this week from The Sunset Cookbook, my first order of business was finding good wintry salads. This time of year, our cooking tends to be braisey, saucy, and hearty, with very little emphasis on raw vegetables. I was in the market for bright, fresh produce—this Ruby Grapefruit, Avocado, and Spinach Salad was exactly that. Looking around my local market, spinach and citrus were everywhere and, hey, there were even a few decent avocados.
Great grapefruits and creamy avocados are always lovely together but the magic of this salad comes from the fish sauce vinaigrette that dresses it. Similar to the sauce for the insanely awesome Momofuku Brussels Sprouts, this vinaigrette mixes sugar, vinegar, and ginger with pungent fish sauce, giving all the flavors in the salad a blast of sweet-salty umami. There's a satisfaction about this dish that rarely comes in salad form, or at least not in salads that aren't topped with a handful of bacon for cheese.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Sunset Cookbook to give away this week.
Adapted from The Sunset Cookbook. Copyright © 2010. Published by Oxmoor House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
- Total time:10 minutes
- 3 1/2 cups baby spinach
- 3 ruby grapefruits (1 lb. each), segmented, juice reserved
- 1 firm-ripe avocado (about 1/2 pound), pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Arrange spinach on salad plates. Arrange grapefruit segments and avocado on spinach.
Measure 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice (save any extra for other uses) into a small bowl and whisk with vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, and sugar to blend. Spoon dressing over salads.