Crab, Grapefruit and Fennel Salad with Paprika Aioli
This is the ultimate winter salad, showcasing favorite flavors of the season. An aioli spiked with paprika lends a hint of smoke to the dish. Serve the salad as an elegant beginning to a holiday meal.
- 1 grapefruit
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 1 Tbs. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) aioli or mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika, plus more, to taste
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 1 lb. (500 g) cooked crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments
Using a sharp knife, trim off the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Cut down the side of the grapefruit, following its natural contour, and remove the peel and white pith. Holding the grapefruit over a small bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membranes to release each segment. Cut the segments in half. Set the juice and segments aside.
Cut off the stems and feathery fronds from the fennel bulbs, reserving a few fronds for garnish; discard the stems. Trim off the base from the bulbs and discard any discolored outer layers. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut the bulbs crosswise into thin slices. Set aside.
Add the vinegar, sugar, a pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper to the bowl with the grapefruit juice. Whisk in the olive oil to form a vinaigrette. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
In another small bowl, stir together the aioli and paprika. Season with salt and more paprika, if desired.
In a large bowl, combine the grapefruit, fennel and onion. Add the vinaigrette and toss until well coated. Add the avocado and crabmeat and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a spoonful of the aioli on each salad plate and spread it with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Divide the salad between the plates and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen