I always associate this salad with Santa Barbara Island which we sometimes visit enroute to or from Catalina Island. Uninhabited, except for a Park Ranger and occasional campers, fishermen or divers, it features extraordinary seabird colonies and a huge elephant seal rookery. On one of our visits, a bright and warm day, we took a picnic ashore. We couldn’t see the mainland and it felt as if we were on an exotic desert island. In that desert island fantasy, what better dish than a combination of crab, mango and avocado? You’d have to plan ahead, thought, before you were marooned, because the dressing is vital..
For the salad, you’ll need:
3 Manila or Champagne mangos
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
5 tablespoons of chopped red onion
1 lb of lump crabmeat (fresh, if possible)
1 head of butter lettuce
Peel and dice the avocados and mangos. Peel and segment the tangerine, and cut the segments into halves. Toss these ingredients in a salad bowl with the chopped cilantro and chopped onions. Gently mix in the crab.
Place a few lettuce leaves on a plate, mound crab salad on the lettuce and drizzle with dressing.
For the dressing, you’ll need:
4 tablespoons of orange, peach and mango juice
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon of honey
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sriracha
1 tablespoon of mandarin orange peel
The juice of the mandarin orange
Salt and pepper
Blend the dressing ingredients together. This is a relatively fluid dressing and the sriracha makes it quite piquant to some tastes, so be conservative if you’re going to toss the dressing and the salad together and serve the balance of the dressing on the side so that your guests can adjust everything to their own tastes.