Crab & Avocado Salad with Watermelon Gazpacho


  • 1-pound ripe seedless watermelon
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-teaspoon sherry vinegar +more for seasoning
  • 1-cup fresh lump crabmeat
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup peeled and seeded cucumber in 1/8-inch dice
  • ¼ cup peeled and seeded sweet red pepper cut in 1/8-inch dice
  • ¼ cup red onion cut in 1/8-inch dice
  • 1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, +more for brushing
  • juice of about 2 large lemons
  • 3 ripe but firm avocados
  • Handful of micro greens, finely sliced chives or smoked sea salt flakes (optional)


Scoop the watermelon flesh into a blender and puree. Season the puree with a good pinch each of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper and vinegar as needed. The flavor should have a very slight acidic edge to it. Chill well.

In a mixing bowl, toss the crabmeat with the parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust with more vinegar and lemon juice as needed. Chill well.

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh in one piece. Slice the avocado halves on diagonal into very thin slices. Cutting on a diagonal gives longer pieces to work with.

Moisten the work surface and spread out a piece of plastic wrap about 10 by 12 inches. Brush the wrap lightly with olive oil and drizzle with lemon juice. In the center of the plastic wrap, arrange 2 slices of avocado in a wide, upside down V. the ends at the point of the V should overlap by about ½ inch. Arrange another 2 slices below these, slightly overlapping the ones above and again overlapping their ends by ½ inch. Repeat twice more to form a rough square with a sort of herringbone pattern.

Arrange a heaping tablespoon of crab salad in the center of the avocado slices. Pick up the corners of the plastic wrap so the avocado encloses the crab. Twist the ends together, tighter and tighter, until you have a tight little purse. Repeat until you have 8 little balls. You can keep the balls wrapped and refrigerate for several hours.

When ready to serve, get 4 shallow soup plates. Twist the plastic wrap around each ball so tightly that it snaps out of the wrap at the base. Stir the watermelon gazpacho and ladle ½ inch or so into each soup plates. Add 1 or 2 avocado balls. Top with micro greens, chives or sea salt flakes and dot the gazpacho with olive oil. Serve immediately.