Quinoa Salad With Crab

Words cannot express my love for the Chesapeake Bay.  I can close my eyes and go back in time to annual family vacations.  No TV, no phone…just family and fresh blue crabs.

Every year we stayed in a town called St. Michael’s, a quaint little town with cobblestone streets, historic heritage, Victorian homes, and none other than…The Crab Claw.

The Crab Claw?  Yes.  That’s what I said.

I can still feel my anticipation as I climb the rickety wooden steps to the dining room.  All you can smell is Old Bay, butter, and the salty air.  Can life get any better than that?  My family is seated at a big weathered wooden table and the waitress asks the most important question of all: “Will we be having crabs tonight?”  In nodding, drooling agreement we all move back as she fans the biggest piece of paper to drape over the wooden table.  We are handed bibs and wooden mallets.  Now we just…wait.

I see her, the glorious waitress, carrying out a bushel of steaming crabs towards us…and with a swift turn of her wrists, they spread in different directions on the newly fanned out paper and we claim our own.  Blue crabs are hard work; the hammering and the picking to get all of the delicate meat out.  It is tedious, my friends, but damn…it is so worth it.

So, on the days I wish for crab, I make this simple dish in honor of my beloved Crab Claw…

Quinoa Salad with Crab, Avocado, & Heirloom Tomatoes


2 cups cooked organic red quinoa (cook according to package directions)

1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

1 avocado, diced

1/4 mint, basil, or parsley

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat

Salt & Pepper to taste


Mix together in a large bowl the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, and mint.  In a small separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the quinoa mixture as well as the diced avocado.  Toss gently to coat.

Add the quinoa mixture to a platter, top with crabmeat and enjoy!

Serves 4

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