Crab and Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Oranges

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Showcasing fresh crabmeat and shrimp, this main-course salad makes an impressive dish for guests. Serve warm sourdough bread alongside. 


  • 1 small red onion, cut crosswise into slices 1/8 inch (3 mm)
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • 12 to 18 large shrimp in the shell
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches watercress, tough stems removed
  • 1 head red-leaf lettuce, leaves separated and torn into large
  • 8 to 12 oz. (250 to 375 g) cooked crabmeat, picked over for
      shell fragments
  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced


Put the onion slices in a small bowl and toss with the red wine vinegar and a large pinch each of salt and sugar. Let stand for about 30 minutes to soften and mellow the onion, then drain.

Put the shrimp in a steamer basket and place over boiling water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. (The water should not touch the bottom of the basket.) Cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam until the shrimp are evenly pink, about 2 minutes, stirring once if needed. Remove from the heat and let cool. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tail segments intact if desired.

Grate the zest of one of the oranges, then use a knife to peel and segment both oranges, catching and reserving the juices.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, the 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice, 1 Tbs. of the reserved orange juice, salt and white pepper. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a little more lemon juice if needed.

In a large bowl, combine the watercress and lettuce. Add all but 2 Tbs. of the dressing and toss to combine. Transfer the salad greens to a large, shallow bowl or platter or 4 individual bowls. Arrange the crab, shrimp, orange segments and avocado cubes over and around the greens, and drizzle the remaining dressing over them. Scatter the marinated onion on top, sprinkle with the orange zest and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).

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