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Curried Crab and Watermelon Salad with Arugula

In this easy yet sophisticated recipe, chef Daniel Boulud pairs a curry-spiced crab salad with sweet watermelon and bright cilantro and mint.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Four 1/2-inch-thick half-round watermelon slices from a large watermelon, rind removed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 5 ounces arugula


  1. In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the apple, onion, curry and saffron and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of water; let cool.
  2. Scrape the mixture into a mini food processor. Add the mayonnaise and process. Transfer the mayonnaise to a bowl and add the cilantro and mint. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in the crabmeat.
  3. Cut each slice of watermelon into 2 triangles and transfer to 4 plates. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle each plate with 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Mound the crab salad on the watermelon. In another bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the arugula on the plates and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Dry, fruit-forward Provençal rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published July 2003

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