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Avocado, mango and crab salad

CrabsaladSpring has sprung. We’ve had the first burst of sunshine in something like six weeks. It won’t last, but it’s enough to make me think about fresh, spring flavors and bring out the bright, psychedelic table linens that make me smile and just don’t work in the dark of winter.

Our friends Jim and Matthew are low-carbing at the moment. I can dig low-carb; it’s full-on Atkins that makes my skin creep. The very thought of a diet that prohibits vegetables — I mean, really.

So for last night’s dinner party, I composed a low-carb-friendly menu that combines light flavors and seasonal ingredients. We had an avocado, mango and crab salad; roast pork tenderloin and roasted brussels sprouts tossed with gorgonzola dolce latte and balsamic vinegar; and a cheese and fruit plate — Belle Etoile brie, gorgonzola dolce latte and Boucheron with Fuji apples and bosc pears. (The gorgonzola and Fuji apples together … oh, my god.) Leyla and Lisa brought a selection of wines from around the world — all Olympic destinations (France, Italy, Australia and even Greece).

A good time was had by all, but the crab salad was the gold medal winner of the night. Recipe after the jump.

Avocado, mango and crab salad
1 lb. fresh lump crab meat, drained
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
several dashes Tabasco
pinch of salt
crack of pepper

2 small, ripe avocados, diced
1 large mango, diced
1/2 red onion, very finely minced
2 Tbsp mint, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt

In separate bowls, mix the crab salad and the avocado, mango and onion salad, mixing gently so as not to break up the crab or mush up the avocado and mango. If you have ring molds, lay down a layer of each mixture; order is not important. I used cling wrap-lined ramekins, layering the avocado mix first and crab second, so that when inverted, the crab layer would be the base. Dress with a light salad on the side. I also drizzled some basil oil around the crab salad for additional aroma and flavor.

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