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Crab Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado and Fresh Herbs

During the cold winter months, fresh crab is at its best. Fresh-cooked crabmeat is available in many fish markets and specialty-food stores. If you prefer to cook live crabs, you will need two 1-lb. crabs for this recipe (each will yield about 4 oz. of meat).

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce, torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 oz. fresh-cooked crabmeat, chilled and picked
     over to remove any shell fragments
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 large grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

Directions:

In a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, lightly toast the mustard seeds, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vinegar and let cool for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the vinegar mixture to a small bowl and whisk in the mustard and honey until blended. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and then the canola oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuce with half of the vinaigrette and divide among 4 chilled salad plates or bowls.

In a small bowl, toss the crabmeat, parsley and chives with 3 Tbs. of the remaining vinaigrette until well blended, and season with salt and pepper. Divide the crabmeat among the salads and garnish each with grapefruit and avocado. If desired, drizzle the salads with any remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.