Lumps of flaky white crabmeat picked from the shell of blue crabs fished from the waters of Vermilion Bay just down the road from my home in Lafayette is as fresh as it gets. And when treated delicately with fresh aromatics, creamy avocado, crisp apple, and a smooth cloak of mayo, this light summertime crabmeat salad is a refreshing break from heartier South Louisiana fare.
When things heat up, crabmeat salad is perfect for a cool, breezy poolside lunch. My wife Roxanne crafts a beautiful version with focus and flair. It is a work of art; it is a classic combination.
First off, she sources jumbo lumps of white crabmeat (not the backfin or claw), and she inspects the crab carefully. Handpicking crabmeat is laborious work, and Roxanne knows that no matter how well the job is done, there are remaining shards of shell that need to be removed. Once combed for any imperfections, she wraps and chills her treasure chest. Her choice of vegetables stays with Cajun trinity tradition—celery, red onion, and green bell pepper are at the base—finely diced for a crisp foundation to build this crabmeat salad.
But here’s where Roxanne’s recipe takes a detour—avocado and apple. This addition is the genius of her crabby combination that blends crunchy, diced Red Delicious apple with the smooth creaminess of the ripe avocado. Tart and tantalizing, this balanced intersection of flavor and texture arrive at a delicious destination.
With just enough Blue Plate to bind it, a light hand on seasoning along with a spritz of lemon, this crabmeat salad is ready to serve inside a hollowed out avocado hull, a sliced open Creole tomato, or even nestled inside crisp iceberg lettuce leaves. However you present it, I can assure you that your guests will love it.
- 1 pound white lump crabmeat, such as Gulf blue crab
- 4 tablespoons finely diced celery
- 4 tablespoons finely diced green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled and cubed
- 1 apple, such as Red Delicious, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sprig of parsley, for garnish
- Lemon slice, for garnish
- Add the package crabmeat to a bowl and carefully inspect it, removing any shells or cartilege. Cover and refrigerate to chill.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the celery, bell pepper, onion, parsley, and mayonnaise. Combine and add the avocado, apple, and the crabmeat. Add the lemon juice and lightly sprinkle with salt and a quick grind of pepper. Very gingerly, combine the mixture being careful not to break up the crabmeat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For serving, add the mixture to a chilled glass bowl and garnish with sprigs of parsley and fresh lemon slices. Serve on a platter with lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes surrounding. Optionally, fill the halved avocado hulls with the crabmeat salad and garnish individually with a lemon slice. A glass of chilled rosé wine would be delightful with this light dish.
YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE: If you like this Cajun cooking story and Cajun recipe then accept my personal invitation to subscribe by entering your email at the bottom or top right of this page. It’s quick and painless. You will receive an email alert and be the first to see when new Cajun cooking stories and Cajun recipes are added. Thanks, George.