Crab salad with dragonfruit, grapefruit and beets

In Belgium, the “crab cocktail” is a fresh, basic salad with crab, grapefruit and avocado served with a ‘cocktail’ dressing. Starting with this classic dish, we’ve added a number of other ingredients to enhance the flavors and textures in our version of the crab salad. The matches are endless when it comes to pairing ingredients with crab, due to its broad aromatic spectrum.

Crab salad with dragonfruit, grapefruit and beets (serves 4)

Marinated Grapefruit

We enhance both the intensity and fruity complexity of the grapefruit by first marinating its segments in a light syrup comprised of grapefruit juice and warm spices like star anise, cinnamon and ginger. These heady spices share citrus and clove-scented links with the crab, in addition to other citrus-type aromas that link them also to the grapefruit.


  • 1 grapefruit
  • 50 g rice wine vinegar
  • 40 g granulated sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 10 g fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped

Supreme the grapefruit and then halve the individual segments into wedges.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the syrup over the grapefruit segments and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

Sieve the grapefruit segments and reserve the marinade to use for Grapefruit Vinaigrette (see below).

Salad Mix

Clove-scented notes, together with popcorn-scented notes, are present in the yellow beets we’ve included in our crab salad for added texture. Dragonfruit, with its crunchy seeds and unique, refreshing taste shares spicy, vanilla-scented links to crab. Meanwhile, watercress gives this salad a nice peppery bite that we finish with a sprinkling of tart, crunchy pomegranate seeds that share the same fruity, green links as the crab.


  • 60 g fresh corn
  • ½ bunch watercress
  • ½ avocado, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 yellow beets, cooked and cubed
  • 120 g crab meat
  • ½ dragonfruit, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • ¼ pomegranate, seeds separated
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Distribute the corn and watercress between 4 bowls. Add the avocado cubes and cooked beets to each. Next, top each portion with the crab meat, marinated grapefruit segments and dragonfruit. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and season wth salt and pepper, to taste.

Garnish with fresh herbs and edible flowers.

Grapefruit Vinaigrette


  • 30 g grapefruit marinade (reserved)
  • 30 g extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk the reserved grapefruit marinade and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads.

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