I love the contrasts in this salad: tart, juicy grapefruit, sweet, crisp jicama, and crunchy pistachios, with an Asian Lime Vinaigrette flavored with fish sauce tying it all together. Look for fish sauce in Asian markets; even small-town supermarkets often carry this in the Asian food aisle. Feel free to make this a few hours ahead of time, but don't add the vinaigrette to the veggies until you're ready to serve.
Salad: 3 Large Grapefruit (Peeled and segmented) ¾ Pound Jicama (Peeled and coarsely shredded) 1 Medium Carrot (About ½ cup; Peeled and grated or finely shredded) 1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves (Plus 2 tablespoons) 2 Tablespoons Pistachios (Toasted and crushed)
Asian Lime Vinaigrette: 1 Serrano Chile 1 Large Garlic Clove 1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar (Packed) 3 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice (About 2 Medium Limes) 1½ Tablespoon Asian Fish Sauce (Preferably Nuoc Mam)
1. For the Vinaigrette: Cut the chile in half, scrape out the seeds, and mince it, being careful to wash your fingers and the knife when you're done. (You should have about 1 1/2 teaspoons.)
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the chile, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce until the sugar has dissolved.
3. For the Salad: In a large serving bowl, toss together the grapefruit, jicama, carrot, and 1/3 cup of the cilantro leaves. Add just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the grapefruit and vegetables. Scatter the pistachios over the salad and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves.
4. Cat's Note: A food processor is the fastest way to shred the jicama and carrot, but you can also use an old-fashioned box grater.
Budino in Italian means pudding but this is more like a molten cake, moist and almost gooey in the middle when served warm from the oven. I like to serve the budino with a scoop of homemade Banana Chocolate-Chunk Ice Cream (in my cookbook, Cooking From the Hip), but it's also great with creme anglaise and fresh raspberries or strawberries.