#stillnotfollowingdirections (French Fridays with Dorie: Crab-Avocado "Ravioli" - sans raviolo)

I know I've been somewhat MIA the past couple of months.

My head understands that it's not the end of the world; but it certainly has thrown me off kilter - missing deadlines is my equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard.

Since life dealt me a relatively calm week for the first time in what feels like forever, I decided to get back on the deadline bandwagon - even if the dish didn't get made until Thursday night.

This week's recipe called for a fresh crab salad layered between slices of avocado "ravioli". I was pretty sure that any attempts I may have made to make avocado slices in a mandoline would have resulted in an emergency room trip, so I nixed the whole "ravioli" concept right off the rip.

I probably "could" have stayed somewhat true to the concept (we all know that's hogwash) by just serving the crab salad over slices of avocado or avocado boats with the halves. Since I can't leave well enough alone, I decided to put the pasta back into this ravioli-less ravioli dish. (Plus, I was anxious to use up that bag of chili-tomato pasta that my brother brought me.)

Before I get into the whole recipe business, can we talk about how expensive good fresh crab is? I think that this is the single most expensive ingredient I have purchased to date for FFwD -  considering some of the dishes we've made to date, that's saying a lot. It probably was partly due to the fact that there were only one pound cans available at the store (the recipe called for 8 ounces), but still... A couple of years ago, forking over the dough probably would have caused me heart palpitations; but the seasoned FFwD veteran in me hardly batted an eye. (That's a lie - I still have a hard time shelling out for ingredients. I don't think I'll ever become that blase; it's just not in my nature.)

Anyhoo, I did make a crab salad with fresh crab meat, lime juice, scallions, fresh thyme, parsley, a couple of shallots, fleur de sel and Aleppo pepper. I tossed it the still hot tomato-chili pasta (and a little bit of pasta water), topped it with fresh avocado slices and drizzled the whole thing with a quality olive oil.

The crab and avocado paired really, really well with the slightly spicy chili pasta. Seconds were had by all, so I would call that a win!

Peace out.


Pasta with Fresh Crab & Avocado
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table

8 ounces fresh lump or backfin crabmeat
1 tsp fleur de sel
2 tsp lime juice (or to taste)
1 small shallot, finely diced
The white and lower green parts of one scallion, sliced
2 tsp fresh minced parsley
Leaves from 3-4 thyme sprigs
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 avocado, sliced and tossed in lime juice
1-2 Tbs olive oil for dribbling
1 pound dried egg pasta (fettuccine is great here)

Place the crab meat in a medium-sized bowl and break up with a fork. Toss in salt and lime juice, followed by the shallot, scallion, parsley, thyme and pepper. Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Cover and let rest in  the refrigerator for about an hour to give the flavors a chance to come together.

Prepare the pasta according to the package. When pasta has reached desired doneness, drain the pasta, reserving about a half cup of the pasta water. Return the drained (still hot) pasta to the cooking pot. Stir in the reserved water and toss with the crab salad.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Top with the avocado slices and drizzle with olive oil.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Cher I love the look of yours - it's perfect! And my crab was $20/lb which I found expensive but I am sure there have been other ingredients that were more - how much was yours???

  2. Great adaptation, Cher! You tweak SO well!!!

  3. yeah, i'm SO not doing the mandoline thing. Especially with the pit still in?? no way. I like my fingertips right where they are, thank you very much. Making this for dinner tonight. I like that you added pasta. This doesn't really feel like a meal on its own. I was just going to make mine into a salad, but pasta always trumps greens, in terms of deliciousness. Always.

  4. I love it! I knew you'd make it your own. Yeah, that whole mandoline thing was not happening for me, either! I'll bet the flavors made wonderful pasta - I know they made great risotto!

    Hang in there & have a lovely weekend!

  5. Sounds like a good alternative! I bet it was delicious. I did make a few, but then just turned the rest into tostadas, I like the chile along with the crab and avocado too.

  6. I’ve missed you, Cher!
    Oh wow…it looks so good! I haven’t made mine yet…for sure this week-end. Your version looks like a great way to use that crab salad!

    We loved Cooperstown! It was a wonderful few days! You are absolutely right about lunch at the Otesaga! What a gorgeous place!! We actually ate there 3 times…it reminded me of the movie “Somewhere In Time”! I love old historic places like that. The grounds are amazing…I could have spent my whole day sitting on one of those benches, looking out onto the lake!
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Love the color of your cili-tomato pasta!

  8. I couldn't find fresh crab but I didn't think this tasted so great with the canned. In this case I think the money you spent was definitely worth it! I love of your idea of tossing this with pasta. What a gorgeous dish.

  9. Great adaptation. I really wanted to do this and meet the deadline, but finding fresh crab in the desert in 105 degree weather just didn't happen. Still looking.

    (PS, I send Sous Chef to the store when I know the recipe has expensive ingredients - saves me that gulp when I check out)

    (PSS - The Rangers played awesomely, and Coco has a little crush on Henrik)

  10. Your adaptation sounds delicious! I couldn't get hold of fresh crab this week, so I went with canned - it worked well. Apparently, there is some sort of supply problem which is causing outrageous prices here, so the fishmonger on the Drive isn't stocking it right now.

  11. I like your crab pasta! I bought tinned crab and it was - umm, not the best.

  12. Cher, chili-tomato pasts sounds quite interesting and like a wonderful combination with the crab meat and the avocado - this is one great sounding pasta recipe and the presentation is very pretty too!
    Hope life will be treating you well this week, - have a great Sunday,

  13. Cher, the chili-tomato pasta sounds intriguing and it must have been such a nice flavor combination together with the crabmeat and the creamy avocado. The presentation looks wonderful too, truly a great sounding pasta recipe.
    Have a great Sunday - by the way how are your two girls doing, will they be home for the summer...

  14. I made a half portion for lunch, but with your pasta idea I even see my kids liking this for a dinner. Brilliant. Glad you are back.

  15. Chili-tomato pasta with crab and avocados, way better than what was going on with the crab meat and avocados at my house. Yum. Glad that you and yours are returning to some kind of normalcy. Yep, not easy to get off track even for all the right reasons. Will be glad to have you back, week in and week out, on schedule. xox

  16. Looks great! The flavors of the crab salad were so good, it's hard to see how you could go wrong adding it to pasta.

  17. I hear ya on the price tag, but I'm not sure that it will remain the most expensive ingredient in the book because I think that there's still a lobster recipe lurking in there somewhere.

  18. I made a non-ravioli salad adaptation like lots of other Doristas, but I think you have the winning variation. I'm making a note to try that out another time. Of course, as a Maryland girl, crabcakes might win out. Now I'm wondering how these ingredients would do as a crab cake...


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