Crab with Quinoa and Avocado {recipe}

Crab Salad Heart
You didn’t make a reservation.

You didn’t put together a menu, hunt down all the recipes and go shopping.

You didn’t plan anything for Valentine’s Day?! …

They will never know.

We’ve discovered that as long as you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you can pretty much turn anything into a Valentine’s Day dish. Put a whole bunch of them together and you look like you out your heart and soul into a special Valentine’s Day dinner!
Crab Quinoa Avocado Salad
You don’t even have to go outside your regular repertoire of ingredients. We pressed avocado and quinoa, both of which we’ve been eating every day, into a heart, and added fresh lump crabmeat on top. (We actually would have thrown chopped mango into the cookie cutter/mold as a layer, but we couldnt get it to fit.)
Crab Salad on Plates

Crab with Quinoa and Avocado

serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as appetizers


½ cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 clove garlic, lightly smashed with side of knife
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice from half a lemon
½ shallot finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup cooked lump crabmeat
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
1 ripe mango, diced


Cook quinoa and garlic clove in 1 cup water. Remove the garlic clove and set quinoa aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, chives and salt and pepper to taste.

Add about 1 tablespoon to quinoa and toss to combine.

Add about 1 tablespoon to crabmeat in a bowl and toss very gently (so the crab does not break apart) to coat.

Place heart-shaped cookie cutter (or other mold) on salad plate. Press about ½-inch of diced avocado into the cookie cutter. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Press about ½-inch of dressed quinoa on top of avocado. Press gently, but firmly so quinoa fills in some of the gaps between the avocado pieces. Place dressed crabmeat on top.

Carefully remove cookie cutter. Some quinoa might fall to the plate. There is nothing you can do about it unless you have kitchen tweezers.And if you have kitchen tweezers, you’re probably careful enough already that the quinoa wouldn’t fall anyway.

Serve with diced mango on the side.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 13, 2012 · 6 comments

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Susana K. February 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Hi! Just a quick question. Is it possible to substitute another fruit in place of mango or is it something you chose because it complemented the while dish itself?


Julia February 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Shape it into a heart or dye it red and you can fool anyone into thinking you TOTALLY planned it for Valentine’s Day. I love the simplicity of the ingredients in this dish.


TeenyLittleSuperChef February 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Oh wow, you had me at crab and then you went a step further and added avocado and quinoa. Those are like all my favorite foods all incorporated into one awesome dish. Thanks so much for the great recipe! I wish I had read this last night when I was wracking my brain for a fun and romantic dinner to make for me and the Hubs. Oh well, Valentine’s Day will just have to be recreated for tonight instead. Thanks again!


Nic@diningwithastud February 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Nawww :) in a heart shaped and everything! Looks SO delicious!


Maria Oliveira March 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I made it and my family LOVE IT. Thank you so much!!


Sarah J. Gim March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

you’re welcome maria!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: