This no-cook, chilled appetizer offers a light and flavorful start to a spring meal.
This is a delicious and impressive looking no-cook recipe that is sure to beat the East Coast heat. I have staked layers of fruit and crab and drizzled it with a lemony and tangy sauce for a punch of island flavors.
My spouse and I went on vacation in downtown Charlotte and stayed at fancy hotel for our anniversary. There was a 5-star restaurant inside the hotel that specialized in seafood and tropical flavors, so we made reservations. This restaurant didn’t have menus; it served a six-course dinner already designated for patrons, you just let them know if you have a food allergy.
The appetizer brought to our table was colorful, fresh and piled high with an array of fruits, vegetables and seafood. We ate every bit of it.
I took the same concept of that dish and created a simpler version by incorporating my favorite aspects. You can certainly combine different ingredients if you don’t like mango, avocado or crab. This sauce works well with shrimp or tuna, red onion, yellow peppers, even peaches. If you feel adventurous, you can get as creative as you want.
I choose fresh blue crab as the main seafood. Blue crab has historically been North Carolina’s most valuable commercial fishery. Blue crabs range from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico and occur regularly in waters where peak temperature reach at least 68 degrees. They are sweet and considered a delicacy.
Crab meat comes in four styles: backfin, claw, lump or jumbo lump. Backfin consists of broken pieces of lump meat mixed with smaller pieces of the white body meat. Claw meat is darker in color and less sweet in flavor when compared to lump or backfin. Lump and jumbo lump, my favorites, are the white meat on the inside of the crab’s body, and it’s the sweetest. You can buy containers of the pre-picked meat from your local seafood market.
Try this easy-to-make, chef-inspired dish to quench your palette with the flavors of the islands while impressing your guests.
Photography by James Stefiuk