Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crab, Mango and Avocado Salad


This salad stack makes an amazing appetizer. Great colour combination, just looking at it makes one happy, refreshed and the excitement over it can sustain throughout the rest of the meal. I do think that only by layering the ingredients elegantly like this can do this salad justice. But, not having a cylindrical mold/ cookie cutter should not be an excuse to not recreate this beauty at home. You can always have this salad layered in short tumbler glasses or even martini glasses. Really, whatever works!

Another reason I urge you to try this out has to do with its fantastic taste and fulfilling mouth feel. First, the avocado gives to this salad the mild nutty flavour and makes a rich and creamy versatile base that is neither heavy nor greasy. The salad is then elevated by the tropical sweetness of the mango, which if finely diced, presents itself in a soft, pulpy texture that quickly melts in your mouth. Finally, the firm yet delicate crab meat, combined with lime juice, breathes in that gorgeous air of freshness from the sea.


Crab, Avocado and Mango Salad
(Servings: 4)
Ingredients
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 bowl of finely diced ripe mango (1 big mango or 2 medium-sized ones)
- 150g of cooked crab meat 
- 2 limes
- 2 handfuls of arugula or spinach (optional)
- salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Instructions
1. Finely dice the mango, try to make them small. Even though I know this may be time-consuming, they taste and look better that way. Set aside and keep them cool in the fridge.
2. Add to the crab meat both the juice and the zest of the limes. Combine well with some salt and pepper. Set aside and keep them cook in the fridge.
3. Cut the avocado into half, de-seed and mash them with a pinch of salt. Have to save this step as the last before assembling the ingredients because the avocado turns brown quickly once de-seeded. You may squeeze in lemon juice to postpone browning. 

Assembling
4. Place the circular mold (mine is around 2.5 inches) on the plate. Use the back of the spoon to press half of the avocado into the bottom of the cutter. It's better to use avocado as the base since it is relatively dense. 
5. Stack on top the finely diced mangoes. It should reach only up to 2/3 of the height of the cutter. 
6. Press in the crab meat as the final layer because it's the lightest. So you see, the heaviest ingredient at the bottom and the lightest on top. Otherwise the stack will easily tumble. 
7. Gently lift up and remove the mold to reveal your pretty salad stack.
8. This is optional. You may top the salad with arugula or spinach. Gently form the arugula with your hands so it may fit nicely on top the salad.  
9. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over your salad.

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