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You may be enjoying your grapefruits, blood oranges and lemons at the moment as the citrus season is in full swing. Citrus fruit can play an essential part in your springtime puddings, as well as adding a zesty kick to a fresh salad. Removing the segments cleanly from the fruit makes them much more attractive and more palatable; take a look at our step by step guide to segmenting a citrus fruit to perfection. Then why not put your skills into practice with our refreshing crab and pink grapefruit salad from out How to Cook book.

...Segment Citrus Fruit

Step by step

1 Top and tail the fruit, to remove just the ends and no more.

2 Stand the fruit on its end. Using a small, serrated knife, cut off the remaining zest and pith, following the natural curve of the fruit.

3 Trim away any pith left on the fruit, but don't over-trim, which wastes fruit and makes the segments misshapen.

4 Put the fruit on its side on a board and carefully cut on either side of the membrane, dividing the segments.

5 Use the knife to ease each segment out and place in a bowl.

6 Once all the segments have been removed, squeeze the remaining core and membrane over a bowl, to extract all the juice. Tip any juice caught in the tray beneath the board into the bowl as well.

Ingredients

Serves 4

2 pink grapefruit

2 small cucumbers

2 red Asian shallots

400g white crab meat

1–2 mild red chillies

2 handfuls of baby watercress or rocket

6 tbsp Asian fried shallots (see note)

For the dressing

2–3 limes

40–50g palm sugar

3 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)

Crab and pink grapefruit salad

  1. Peel and segment the grapefruit (see page 530) and place in a large bowl. Peel the cucumbers, halve lengthways, deseed and finely dice. Halve, peel and finely slice the shallots and add them with the cucumber to the grapefruit, then add the crab meat. Halve, deseed and finely slice the chillies and add to the bowl, then add the watercress or rocket.
  2. To make the dressing, juice the limes. Mix the palm sugar, nam pla and 2–3 tbsp lime juice in a small bowl and set aside for the palm sugar to dissolve. Taste and adjust the balance of sweet, salty and sharp; no flavour should dominate. Adjust the balance if necessary.
  3. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and toss gently to coat evenly.
  4. Divide the salad between 4 plates or bowls and sprinkle over some fried shallots.

Note Asian fried shallots are available in jars from Asian food stores; alternatively, you can fry your own sliced shallots until golden and crisp.

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