Fennel-and-Endive Slaw with Crab

This refreshing and crunchy salad with a light citrus vinaigrette brings out the flavor of the delicate crab. Be sure to toss the crab gently with the other ingredients to prevent it from breaking up.

Slideshow:Terrific Green Salads

  • Servings: 12

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  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 medium fennel bulbs, quartered and cored
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Belgian endives, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 pounds crab meat, picked over (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons small flat-leaf parsley leaves

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Transfer the seeds to a mortar to cool, then pound to a coarse powder. In a small bowl, cover the ground fennel with 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil and let stand until flavorful, at least 30 minutes. Strain the fennel oil.

  2. Thinly slice the fennel on a mandoline. Spread the fennel in a large, wide baking dish in an even layer. Pour the grapefruit, orange and lime juices plus 1/4 cup of the lemon juice over the fennel and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Drain the citrus juices into a medium saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Pour the juice into a bowl set in ice water and chill thoroughly. Transfer the juice to a blender and, with the machine on, slowly add the olive oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil until emulsified. Pour the dressing into a bowl, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

  4. In a very large bowl, toss the fennel with the endives. Add the crab and dressing and toss lightly. Season with salt and pepper and arrange the salad in a large serving bowl or on a platter. Drizzle the fennel oil all over the slaw, garnish with the parsley leaves and serve.

Make Ahead

The fennel oil can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


You can use lump crab meat, sweet claw meat from Maine crabs or king crab meat, which is the most expensive but also the most delicious.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published July 2000

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