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Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado

The mix of fresh crab, avocado and juicy heirloom tomatoes here is a classic combination. But Sue Zemanick makes it seem new by tossing the salad with a vibrant, spicy dressing spiked with jalapeno.


slideshow  More Quick Shellfish Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 1/2 Hass avocados, diced ( 1/2 inch)
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into four 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the olive oil, vegetable oil, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, honey and garlic. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the crab with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, gently toss the avocado with the red onion and 2 tablespoons of the dressing; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a tomato slice on each plate and season with salt. Top with the avocado and the crab and garnish with the cilantro. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve with tortilla chips.


Variation: To replicate our cover recipe, spoon chopped cherry tomatoes into glasses; top with the crab, avocado and remaining dressing and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Rich crab and avocado demand a white wine with substantial body; at the same time, only a white with good acidity will stand up to Zemanick's sweet-spicy-tart dressing. The cool temperatures in Sonoma's Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations result in Chardonnays with a firm line of acidity under their rich fruit.

Contributed By Photo © Anna Williams Published July 2008

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