This zesty, fresh salad serves 4 - 6 as a starter or light lunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 blood oranges (use regular when not in season)
  • 400 g (14oz) cooked crab meat
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, stone removed, peeled and cut into roughly 1cm (½in) dice
  • 50 ml (2fl oz) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tblsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tblsp chopped dill (chopped coriander or parsley leaves also work well if you don't have dill)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • few handfuls of salad greens, to serve

Method

How to cook the crab:

  1. First, weigh the crab. Then place the crab in the freezer for two hours. Once the freezing time is up, remove the crabs from the freezer and place in a large saucepan, cover with measured warm water and add 1 tablespoon of salt for every 1.2 litres (2 pints) water. The crab can be cooked in seawater, but omit the salt). Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes for 450g (1lb).
  2. Pour off about two thirds of the water, cover with a lid and continue to cook for a further six minutes. To check if the crab is cooked, use an oven glove or tea towel to lift it out of the pan. Then gently shake it quite close to your ear – you shouldn't hear liquid splashing around. Remove the crab and allow to cool.
  3. When the crab has cooled, remove the large claws and crakc these (using a heavy weight or nutcrackers), then, using the handle of a tablespoon, extract every bit of meat. Retain the shell if you'd like it to serve the meat in, otherwise discard. Turn the body of the crab upside down and pull out the centre portion. Discard the gills, known as 'dead man's fingers' and each about 4cm (1½ inch) long. Scoop out all the lovely brown meat and add it to the white meat from the claws. The meat can be used immediately or frozen for future use.

To make the salad:

  1. First segment the oranges: cut a little slice from the top and bottom of the fruit. Next, stand the orange on a chopping board and, using a small sharp knife and following the curve of the orange, cut a strip of peel off from top to bottom. Continue around the orange until there is no peel remaining. Hold the orange over a bowl, then cut a segment out by slipping the knife in between one of the segments and the connective membrane.
  2. Cut down until you reach the middle of the orange, but don't cut through the membrane. Make another cut the other side of the segment against the other membrane and you will be left with a perfect segment, with no membrane. Repeat with the rest of the oranges, then squeeze the juice out from the pieces of peel and inner membrane over the segments in the bowl.
  3. Add the crab meat, onion and avocado to the bowl and toss gently. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over, then add the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper. Toss again, gently, so as not to break up the orange segments.
  4. Place a small handful of salad greens on each plate, or all together on one large platter, drizzle with a little olive oil, then spoon the crab and blood orange salad over the top and serve.