Geoffrey Zakarian makes his Crab and Avocado Salad, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 32
Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

Crab and Avocado Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
It feels like every 20 years, culinary trends reemerge, and they’re always the classics. That’s because simple flavors, utilizing the best ingredients, always satisfy. This is a French take on a shrimp cocktail that features fresh crab, avocado and grapefruit. When I look back at my time at Le Cirque, we always strived to make simple ingredients shine, and this recipe is an example of that. It’s a crisp, cool, perfectly composed dish that is a true crowd pleaser.


Salad Dressing:

Crab Salad:

For Assembly:


  1. Make the dressing. In a small pot, bring the grapefruit juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the juice to 1/4 cup. Set aside to let cool, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the reduced grapefruit juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Make the crab salad. In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, vinegar and Dijon. Add the celery and stir to coat. Gently fold in the jumbo lump crab and season with salt.
  4. Assemble. Supreme a grapefruit by trimming the top and bottom poles so it stands up straight on a cutting board. With a very sharp knife, slice off the peel and pith from top to bottom, working in sections and following the shape of the grapefruit. Once peeled, hold the grapefruit on its side in your hand over a bowl to catch the juices. Use a small paring knife to slice between the membranes on either side of the top segment, releasing the segment. Place the segment into a separate bowl. Repeat, rotating the grapefruit as segmented, until all the segments have been removed. Arrange 5 or 6 grapefruit segments, with the straight sides of the segments facing outwards, to form a circle on the plate. Repeat with the remaining grapefruit and 3 other plates.
  5. Halve an avocado crosswise, not lengthwise, and remove the pit. Remove the skin, being careful not to mar the flesh. Trim off a little from the bottom of the bottom half of the avocado so that it sits upright. Place the avocado bottom in the center of a circle of grapefruit segments on a plate. Repeat with the remaining avocados. Divide the crab mixture among the avocado bottoms, piling the crab up high. Cover each with their top avocado halves to form whole avocados.
  6. Drizzle the dressing generously over the avocados and grapefruit. Sprinkle the microgreens on top of the avocados and all around the plates. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

Kewpie is a rich Japanese mayonnaise made with egg yolks instead of whole eggs. The recipe varies, depending on whether it’s made in Japan or USA, with the American version adding sugar. Jumbo lump crab meat is a higher grade of crab meat than lump crab. It’s made up of the large intact chunks of meat that connect to the swimmer fins. The meat of jumbo is sweeter, and the texture is finer, than the lower grades. Use jumbo lump when appearance is important and flavor is tantamount, such as in this salad. Regular lump crab meat is made up of a mix of the broken up pieces of jumbo lump as well as large chunks coming from the body.