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Lump Crabmeat, Fennel, and Grapefruit Salad

Lump Crabmeat, Fennel, and Grapefruit Salad

Renée Robinson

Here’s an Exciting and Unusual Crab Salad for Dinner Tonight.

Good crabmeat is one of those delicacies of which I think the less you mess with it, the better it is. It’s so inherently sweet and full of flavor, I try to only enhance it a little. This salad is a prime example of my thinking on this subject.

Fennel and fresh grapefruit are natural partners for crabmeat. They’re delicately flavored and don’t overpower the crabmeat. And if you have a mandolin, now is the time to bring it out because the fennel needs to be very thinly sliced. When dressed with a light and fresh tasting dressing the crabmeat, fennel, and grapefruit come together for a soul satisfying main course salad.

As for the dressing, I finely minced an entire seeded lemon half – peel and all. I wanted the dressing to be both light and powerful. The only thing it needed was a minced shallot, the juice squeezed from the membranes of the grapefruits that were left behind after slicing them into sections (supremes), some seasoning and olive oil. 

Sliced radishes provided a pungent bite, toasted almonds and nigella seeds gave it some crunch, sliced avocado added creaminess, and a few spoonfuls of my Pickled Mustard Seeds supplied an interesting complexity to this very simple dish. Each bite was interesting and the different elements kept it exciting, but the beautiful crabmeat reigned supreme. It never lost its place as the star of this show. 

Lump Crabmeat, Fennel, and Grapefruit Salad

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Lump crabmeat, fresh fennel, grapefruit, and avocados are topped with a dressing made of minced whole lemon and grapefruit juice. Toasted almonds, nigella seeds and pickled mustard seeds take it to a high level of delicious.

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  • 1 lemon, seeded and halved

  • 2 red grapefruits

  • 1 large shallot, minced

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced very thinly, plus 2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds

  • I ripe avocado, sliced into wedges

  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat

  • 2 radishes, sliced thinly

  • 1/3 cup toasted almond slices

  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives

  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds

  • 3 tablespoons Pickled Mustard Seeds


  • Slice and mince one of the lemon halves, peel and all. You want it to be in tiny bits. Place in a medium bowl. Slice the peel and pith off both grapefruits. While holding them over the bowl of lemon bits, slice between the membranes and remove the wedges of grapefruit. Put the grapefruit in a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit membranes into the bowl of lemon bits. Discard the membranes. Add the minced shallot, along with a pinch of kosher salt to the bowl of lemons and grapefruit juice. Whisk in the minced fennel fronds, olive oil, and set aside.
  • Place the sliced fennel in a large bowl. Add the juice of the remaining lemon half and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss the fennel well with the juice and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of the dressing to the fennel and stir.
  • On individual serving plates, layer the fennel, grapefruit sections, and avocado slices. Add a scoop of crabmeat and drizzle on more dressing. Garnish with the radishes, almonds, chives, nigella seeds and Pickled Mustard Seeds. Enjoy!

2 Responses

  1. I just made this for dinner tonight, and everyone loved it. So many different flavors going on. And I loved the pickled mustard seeds.

    1. This is fantastic, Jeanne! Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m so happy you enjoyed it, too. And I agree with you about the pickled mustard seeds. They’re a real joy, aren’t they? I’ve been using them on so many things. It’s about time to make a new batch. 😊

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