I know, I know – no one makes friends with salad!  But, I promise, this salad is not your average, boring, run-of-the-mill salad!  It’s fresh and light, and the addition of crab and shrimp makes it a bit more decadent and somehow satisfying.  The liberal addition of orange gives it a delicious acid that’s perfectly fitting with the seafood – of, and it’s on some lettuce – so you know it’s *healthy*! 

I brought this salad to a birthday party/Thanksgiving party this weekend, and it was mostly gone before everyone had a chance to get any.  I’d say I made some friends with salad.  😉



  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine or raspberry vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • large pinch of sugar
  • 12-18 large prawns in the shell
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce or 2 bunches watercress
  • 8-12 oz. fresh lump crab meat, picked over for shell fragments
  • 2 large ripe Hess avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks



To marinate the onion, cut it crosswise into slices 1/8 inch thick.  Place the slices in a small bowl or tupperware, and toss with the raspberry or red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, some sugar.  Let stand about 30 minutes to soften and mellow the onion.  Drain the leftover vinegar.

Meanwhile, clean, peel, and devein the prawns.  Olace a collapsible steamer rack in a saucepan with a bit of water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Add the shrimp, cover, and reduce the heat to medium, and steam the shrimp until evenly pink, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool to the touch.  Zest one of the oranges, then peel (top and tail, then cut the peel off of each section) and segment all of them, reserving the juice by segmenting the orange over a bowl (slicing each orange along the membrane and letting the loosened pieces of  orange fall into the bowl.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl combine the reserved orange juice, the olive oil, sherry vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Whisk to blend, and adjust seasoning, adding a little more lemon juice if desired.

In a large salad bowl, combine the watercress, lettuce, and cilantro sprigs.  Add as much of the dressing as necessary to lightly coat, and toss to combine.  Add the marinated onion, shrimp, crab, avocado, and orange segments, drizzling a little bit more dressing on top.