Crab & melon salad

Crab & melon salad

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Prep: 20 mins Cook: 6 mins

More effort

Serves 4
This elegant seafood starter is sure to impress - buy freshly picked crab meat or see our step-by-step guide to preparing a whole crab

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal436
  • fat17g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre11g
  • protein17g
  • salt1.6g


  • 100g picked white crabmeat (see step-by-step to prepare a fresh crab)
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 6 drops of Tabasco
  • juice 1 lime



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 1 small fennel bulb with fronds
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate – its strong aniseed…

  • ½ small loaf of rustic wholemeal bread, unsliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 very ripe avocado



    Although it's technically a fruit, the mild-flavoured avocado is used as a vegetable. Native…

  • large knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 175g watermelon, cut into small cubes



    Thought to have originated in Africa, watermelons are distinct from musk melons such as…

  • 175g cantaloupe melon, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 preserved lemon, very finely diced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the crabmeat with the chilli, a few drops of Tabasco, half the lime juice and the chives, to taste. Reserve any fennel fronds and set aside. Use a mandolin or a very sharp knife to thinly slice the fennel, then place in a bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes in it.

  2. Cut the bread into wafer-thin slices and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little oil and bake for 2-3 mins or until crisp. Blitz the avocado in the small bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add a few drops of Tabasco, the rest of the lime juice and some seasoning, and blitz again.

  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and, once foaming, add the cubes of melon. Cook gently for 2-3 mins until warmed through and slightly softened. Set aside to cool a little. Drain the fennel and mix with the preserved lemon, oil, lemon juice and some seasoning.

  4. To serve, transfer the avocado cream to a piping bag. Snip off the end and pipe swirls onto the plates. Divide the fennel slices between the plates, arranging them in a line. Top with the crab mixture and poke three or four bread wafers in at intervals, so that they stand up. Top with the reserved fennel fronds, then scatter the melon around the plates.

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