Spanner crab with tomato and cucumber salad

This elegant summer salad of crab is just the ticket for soothing the senses on a hot day. It will make the perfect entree for Christmas lunch or a refreshing accompaniment to Boxing Day leftovers. I have used spanner crab meat which I buy in small sous vide sachets of 100 grams from here.

These little beauties freeze well and are a must have freezer item during the holidays. Perfect for stirring through GF pasta or risotto – if that’s your thing – or roll up in rice paper with kelp noodles and fresh sprouts and serve with Nuoc Nam, a Vietnamese dipping sauce.

I found Neil Perry’s recipe here. It’s so healthy and aligned with my kitchen philosophy at Cabarita Ocean Health Retreat that it needed no modification – and the guests just loved it! You can check out Neil Perry’s latest  venture Rosetta at Crown in my hometown of Melbourne. A sophisticated Italian ristorante with a seasonally driven menu of Neil’s favourite regional recipes from his extensive travels through Italy.

Spanner crab with tomato and cucumber salad
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons
1 baby cos lettuce, leaves separated and torn
16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 cucumbers, peeled, cut in half, seeds removed and cut into 1cm half moons
2 birdseye chillies, seeds removed and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
4 x 100 gram sachets of cooked spanner crab meat – I use this brand
Murray River salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Place the olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, the zest of 1 lemon, sea salt and black pepper to taste in a small bowl, and mix well
  • In a separate bowl, place the cos lettuce and 1/3 of the dressing, season with pepper, toss gently and divide among 4 plates
  • Place the remaining ingredients, except the crab, in the bowl and dress with 1/2 the remaining dressing. Place the salad on top of the leaves
  • Place the crab and the last bit of dressing in the bowl and mix. Place a mound of crab on each salad. Finish with a good grind of pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Hot tips: Any seafood can be substituted for the crab. Consider cubes of raw fish, marinated for 5 minutes in lime juice, or chunks of cured ocean trout
    Serves four
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