George Mahaffey uses crispy fried leeks to garnish his colorful salad; shallots, which don't need to be cleaned and julienned, are an easier alternative. Tart, lightly perfumed pomegranate molasses is available from Middle Eastern grocery stores and by mail-order from Kalustyan (212-685-3451).
Terrific Green Salads
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
20 medium shallots (1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 ruby red grapefruits
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
16 cups loosely packed baby lettuces, such as arugula, frisée and radicchio
2 Hass avocados, each cut into 15 wedges
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 300° over moderately high heat; alternatively, test the oil by adding a small bread cubeit should turn light brown in 1 minute. Toss the shallots with the flour until completely coated, shaking off the excess. Fry the shallots in batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruits, removing all the bitter white pith. Cut between the membranes to release the sections. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses, the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with 1/3 cup of the dressing and mound them on a large serving platter. Put the avocado wedges and grapefruit sections in the bowl, season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and toss with the remaining dressing. Arrange the fruit over the salad and garnish with the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle a little pomegranate molasses around the edge of the platter and top the salad with the fried shallots.
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