Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit, and Herb Salad
Crabmeat is rubbed with a smoky chile paste, then sautéed and tossed in a refreshing salad of creamy avocado, tart grapefruit, and herbs. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Corey Arnold’s article Polar Harvest.
- 2 lb. precooked king or snow crabmeat, defrosted if frozen and cut into 3″ pieces
- 4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
- 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cloves
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 ripe Hass avocados
- 1 cup packed chervil leaves and tender stems
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 cup packed watercress leaves and tender stems
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- Pat crab dry with paper towels and place in a bowl. Place chiles in another bowl; cover with 2 cups boiling water and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving ½ cup soaking liquid. Transfer chiles and soaking liquid, plus cumin, cloves, garlic, and salt to a blender; purée into a smooth paste. Gently toss crab with chile paste until completely coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
- Halve, pit, and peel avocados; slice crosswise about ¼” thick and transfer to a bowl. Add chervil, cilantro, parsley, and watercress; set aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook crab, gently stirring occasionally, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Transfer crab to avocado and herb salad. Add remaining oil, plus lime juice, grapefruit, salt, and pepper; toss gently to combine.