Avocado, Grapefruit, Mango, Yuzu, Cilantro

Avocado_Grapefruit_Tartare
Avocado with grapefruit tartare

Apparently these are among my favorite ingredients for late-night culinary experiments, probably because there is so much that can be done with them raw. By playing with different cuts, you can achieve suprising and pleasing textures. The flavors are so automatically compatible, it is hard to do anything wrong. 

This would work great as an appetizer before either a Latin or Asian meal.

Mixed in with the ruby grapefruit are little cubes of yuzu gelee. On the plate are a few drops of cilantro oil (hard to see), and black salt. The salt contains volcanic charcoal, which will easily run when exposed to water, so I prefer to use it on a dry plate or only at the very last second before serving.

To cut the avocado this way, first halve it and remove the pit. With the skin still on, lay a half cut side down on your board. Working very carefully so as not to de-digitalize yourself, put one hand on top and use a serrated tomato knife to make a cut parallel to the board. Then remove the skin just from that slice. Rub it right away with a bit of grapefruit juice to avoid browning.

For the grapefruit, cut supremes and drink all of the juice to fortify yourself. Cut the supremes once lengthwise, then finely dice.

For proper cilantro oil, blanch and immediately shock a bunch of cilantro to preserve the bright color. Dry thoroughly. Puree with 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil in a high speed blender and strain thoroughly first through a sieve and then cloth. You can remove any water by freezing. The version in the picture above was made with a half-arsed version of this technique which is why the color is weak.

For the yuzu gelee, whisk together 20 grams of yuzu juice (available at a good Asian grocery), 1 teaspoon of sugar, 0.6 grams of LM pectin (I use Pomona brand), and a tiny pinch of the calcium stuff included in the pectin packet. Bring to a boil in the microwave, and immediately pour into a tiny plastic square mold. Refrigerate until gelled. Dice.

A little bit of minced red shallot would be good too.

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, March 29th, 2010 in Appetizers, Experiments, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Vegan or Modifiable.

7 Responses to “Avocado, Grapefruit, Mango, Yuzu, Cilantro”

  1. March 29, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Looks refreshing and scrumptious. I’ll give this a try since I love avocado.

  2. March 29, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I’ve been into these ingredients as well this week, as a cool base for scallops. Congrats on the Saveur nomination!

  3. March 30, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Lovely recipe Michael, I love the yuzu gelee, must try to find the juice somewhere….unfortunately no many Asian shops in the North Italian Valley where I am now! I must go back to NZ or Asia for it….

    I also wanted to tell you that I put your link on the listing of Vegetarian blogs of link to alessandra-onlyrecipes.blogspot.com

    ciao
    Alessandra

  4. April 1, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    A wonderful combination. I’m quite fascinated by the yuzu gelee but am not familiar with the pectin product that you write about. I am only aware of the fruit pectin for making jams and jellies. Can you explain a bit further, please?

  5. Michael Natkin
    April 1, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    @Danielle – here is the LM Pectin I use: link to pomonapectin.com – there is more good info on their site. A really great, useful product.

  6. April 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    I like the colors and everything looks fresh. lol! I never new yuzu and I did a quick search about it. Now I know that it’s a citrus fruit and plant originating in East Asia. It is believed to be a hybrid of sour mandarin. :-)

  7. May 11, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Going to make this right now!!

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