My next recipe from Patricia Wells’ new Salad as Meal cookbook (affiliate link) is a keeper. Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado is light, delicious, and insanely easy to prepare. If you can chop, shake your arm, and operate a toaster, you can impress your friends with this recipe. The only tricky part may be finding fresh lump crabmeat, depending on where you live.
This crab salad recipe requires chopping some celery, bell pepper, and avocado, then mixing in some jumbo lump crabmeat, spices, and a creamy lemon-chive dressing. Toast some sourdough bread to serve alongside and you’re good to go. What could be simpler?
Using a light hand when mixing the crab – you want to preserve the hunks of meat. You paid good money for high-quality lump crabmeat so don’t shred it beyond recognition.
You may be tempted to skip the sourdough to reduce your carb count. Don’t! Have a small piece if you must, but the crunch factor is so worth 18 or so grams of carb.
Cream vs. Half and Half
I substituted fat free half-and-half for the light cream in the Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing. (Note this is the same dressing used in Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley & Spring Onions.) The nutritional information underneath the recipe below is for Patricia’s original recipe (with light cream). If you want to cut some fat and cholesterol, keep in mind that a cup of regular half-and-half has 28g of fat (17g saturated) and 190mg of cholesterol. Fat free half-and-half has 0g fat and 1mg cholesterol. Even though Patricia says that a higher fat content will help resist curdling when you add lemon juice, I had no problem with curdling using fat free half-and-half.
Making the Red Hot Salt
To make the Red Hot Salt, I used Ancho chili powder, some smoked paprika my stepdaughter brought me from Hungary, and Bahamian sea salt. It probably doesn’t have exactly the same flavor of the recipe below, but they were all ingredients I had on hand.
This crab salad is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. It is also a good source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin K, Folate, Phosphorus, Zinc and Copper.
All nutritional information provided here was calculated by Diabetic Foodie using the tools on the nutritiondata.com website.
Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado
- 1 pound 2 cups fresh cooked lump crabmeat
- Grated zest of 2 limes or lemons preferably organic
- 1/4 cup Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing page 326
- Fine sea salt
- Coarse freshly ground black pepper
- 1 orange or red bell pepper trimmed, seeds removed, and minced (1 scant cup)
- 2 ribs celery finely minced (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro chervil, or parsley leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Hot Salt page 307 or fine sea salt
- 1 large ripe avocado halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into very thin half-rounds
- 4 thin slices sourdough bread toasted, for serving (see page 270)
In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat and citrus zest and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the crabmeat. Taste for seasoning.
In another bowl, combine the bell pepper, celery, cilantro, and Red Hot Salt and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables. Taste for seasoning. Combine the contents of the two bowls, mixing gently to blend.
Mound the salad in the center of the dinner plates. Arrange the avocado slices around the salads. Serve with the toast.
WINE SUGGESTION: The last time I prepared this salad we had it with a mineral-rich Riesling, the Domaine Ostertag Clos Mathis.
Nutritional information includes the bread, but not the dressing or Red Hot Salt.
Nutrition facts per serving (1 cup)
Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup light cream
- 1/3 cup finely minced fresh chives
- Lemon zest
In the jar, combine the lemon juice and salt. Cover with the lid and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the cream, chives, and lemon zest. Shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be used immediately. (Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake to blend again before using.)
But will it curdle? Given the right circumstances, such as the addition of acids or heat, any milk or cream product will curdle (meaning the curd protein coagulates and forms clumps). The greater the fat content of the milk or cream, the more it will resist curdling. I use a light cream with a 12% fat content, much like what is also called half-and-half, and have never had a problem with curdling when adding lemon juice to the cream.
Nutrition facts per serving (2 tablespoons)
Red Hot Salt
- 2 teaspoons ground piment d'Espelette or other ground mild chile pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon hot-smoked pimentón de la Vera or other hot-smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Combine all the ingredients in the jar. Cover, and shake to blend. (Store the salt mixture, sealed in the jar, at room temperature for up to 1 month. After that, the flavors will begin to fade.)
Piment d'Espelette, the mildly spicy pepper from France's Basque region and the pimenton de la Vera from Spain, can be found on my Amazon Store on the home page of PatriciaWells.com.
Nutrition facts per serving (1 teaspoon)
Disclosure: For my participation in the Four Weeks of Salad as a Meal Challenge, I received a copy of Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells plus two copies to give away. This post contains at least one affiliate link, which means if you click it and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny fee. Please see my disclosures page for more information.