Have it all crab, avocado and asparagus salad

They say you can’t have your cake and eat it, but this recipe is an example of just how wrong that can be. I’m an avid reader of Stephen Harris’s weekly column in The Daily Telegraph. One week he offered a whole feature on crab, and gave two recipes – one for crab with avocado, and the other for crab with asparagus. Which to choose?

The simple, and very successful solution was to amalgamate the two. I say ‘simple’ because I find most of Harris’s inspired recipes need to be translated for the use of mere mortals with less time and skill. For example he does fancy things with the asparagus and a vegetable peeler….and he makes a hollandaise sauce…’nuff said.

So I translated it, garbled it together, and the result is this recipe – a cornucopia of goodies which makes a quick lunch with a bit of WoW! factor.

Goes rather well with fresh wholemeal bread.

If there is just one of you, can split everything into two, cutting the avocado in half lengthways, leaving the stone in one half, drizzling the cut flesh of it with a little lime juice, covering the surface with cling film, and putting. Put the ingredients for the following day in the fridge.


Recipe for have it all crab, avocado and asparagus salad

Serves 2


  • 1 avocado
  • 100g/3½ oz asparagus tips
  • 100g/3½ oz crab meat
  • juice and zest of half a lime
  • 4 tbsps peppery olive oil, or hazelnut or walnut oil
  • olive oil for roasting
  • sea salt (ideally Maldon) and Urfa pepper (or ordinary freshly ground black)


  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC.
  2. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, put in an oiled roasting tin, drizzle with a bit more oil, season it, and roast for about eight minutes – for more detail on this process, follow this link.
  3. Meanwhile, peel, stone and slice the avocado, divide between two plates, covering half the plate.
  4. Divide the crab between the plates, covering the other side of the plate.
  5. Mix the dressing: the juice and zest of the lime, the nut oil, and some seasoning.
  6. Arrange the roast asparagus artistically over the avocado and crab.
  7. Drizzle over the dressing, and serve with a flourish!


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