crab, fennel, and citrus salad with avocado and marash
This might be my all time favorite salad of all time. Inspired by a visit to Chez Panisse the man took as a teenager (after which he's rumored to have called them up and interrogated someone who may or may not have been David Tanis about his pepper choice... some things don't change) this dish is all delicious things in one and incredibly simple to make.
Crisp fennel is paired with sweet and bitter citrus, creamy avocado, and briny crab. The dressing is as simple as it can be with just the tiniest whiff of heat from marash, that elusive pepper that we now use daily.
Ready in 15 minutes, it's the perfect leisurely Sunday lunch or Friday dinner treat.
- 1 -2 heads of fennel, with some fronds
- Lump crab meat
- 1 avocado
- 4 grapefruits, blood oranges, regular oranges or citrus of your choice (I'm particularly partial to pink grapefruit, if available)
- Olive oil
- Marash pepper
- Thinly mandoline the fennel, reserving the fronds.
- Toss the slivered fennel with a bit of olive oil and set aside
- Segment the citrus as best you can (I recently realized that turning the citrus horizontally makes this infinitely easier)
- Place fennel on a plate, top with citrus, and then pile on your lump crab. (Note that if the crab isn't perfectly fresh, you may want to gently drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt.)
- Add sliced avocado to the pile
- Sprinkle the whole thing with maldon sea salt, marsh chili flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil
- Chop bits of frond and sprinkle that on top too.
And there you'll have, a little bit of Chez Panisse heaven whenever you might need (...like when march decides it's blizzard season.) Enjoy.