Santa Barbara Red Rock Crab Salad

  • difficulty:Hard
  • prep time:30 mins
  • cooking time:18 mins
  • perfect wines:Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pascale is devoted to the fusion arts of California-Mediterranean cuisine who lives in Santa Barbara. Working directly with local fishermen, Pascale and her friend came up with salad together. The avocado vinaigrette is buttery and works wonders with the crab and fennel.

    Serves 8 people


    For the crab

    • 16 crab claws
    • 1 lemon - cut into 8 wedges

    For the vinaigrette

    • 1/4 c olive oil
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or Champagne vinegar
    • 1 avocade - peeled and the meat scooped out
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
    • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

    For the fennel salad

    • 2 whole fennel bulbs cut in half legthwise and very thinly sliced
    • 1 lemon - zested and then quartered
    • 1 tbsp fresh dill - finely chopped
    • 1 small green apple - cored and very thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp chives - finely chopped
    • Flake salt


    • Steam the crab claws for 15-18 minutes.
    • Place some newspaper in the counter or table. Remove the crab claws from the steamer and place on the newspaper. Lay each claw flat on the paper. Hold the claw with a dishcloth and use a mallet to firmly crack open the shell. Extricate the crab meat.
    • For vinaigrette, pour the olive oil into a small bowl and whisk in the vinegar, 
    • Add avocado meat and mash with a fork.
    • Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt, and 2-3 grinds of pepper and whisk with the fork so that all the ingrediets form a homogeneous vinaigrette.
    • Place the fennel, lemon zest, dill, apples, and chives into a medium-sized bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
    • To serve, place a spoonful of the fennel salad in the center of each plate, and then place the crab meat on the top.
    • Add a little salt and pepper, a sprinkling of freshly chopped chives, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve immediately.
    • Enjoy with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. 

    Find more of Pascale's recipes on her website or check out one of her cooking classes.