Sunday Supper: Fresh Dungeness Crab Salad with Ripe Avocado

Crab season is at it’s peak and we have been trying to recreate a dish that makes my mouth water at the thought of it. Every year we celebrate the December birthdays by dining at a new restaurant and experiencing the wondrous talent of the Bay Area. Friday night, we had the pleasure of dining at Boulevard downtown San Francisco experiencing the delights of Chef Nancy Oakes.

Words can not express the divine experience of a perfectly executed dish paired with a complimenting wine. We had decided on four courses: two small plates, a main and a dessert. My first course was the the crab salad which was the highlight of the night and the inspiration for this post. It was a beautiful bright white and brick red dungeness crab salad with cucumber, hearts of palm with Lime, tomatillo and a Chili Vinaigrette. The crab was lightly dressed with a bright acidity that kept me guessing. The hearts of palm were slivered blending cohesively with the crab and tomatillos were diced into tiny squares adding a textural twist.

We had opened a bottle of Alsacan Gewurztraminer to pair with our first two courses and it was the star of the show with my dish. I considered only ordering the crab salad for the remaining courses and in hindsight, probably should have just because. We came home and decided to make our own version of this dish and it will only take minutes to make. Shucking the crab will take the most time so I would suggest doing that first or earlier in the day. I had the guy crack the shells for me at the market making it quicker for me at home.

What you will need

2 Dungeness crabs approximately 2 lbs. each

1 ripe avocado

one sliver of red onion

1 small celery stalk

1/4 red bell pepper

2 T. Hellman’s / Best Foods mayonnaise

1 Meyer lemon

1/2 t. Sambal

sea salt

What to do

Shuck your crab ensuring all shells are removed. Have someone inspect the bowl to make sure that there aren’t any little pieces of shell in the meat. Reserve the large knuckle pieces for the presentation. Set aside. Finely dice the celery, red bell pepper and red onion into uniform tiny pieces. Place all in a bowl and set aside. Mix the mayonnaise, 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice and Sambal in a bowl. The consistency will be thin. Taste test. In a large bowl, hand mix the crab with the dressing and sprinkle with sea salt. Add the diced vegetables and toss. Slice avocados into small thin slices and place on a plate in a long diagonal row. Put the crab salad on top of the avocados placing the reserved knuckles in the center. Serve with a lemon twist and avocado slices.

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