Nov 14

Giving Thanks With Avocado, Crab, and Pomegranate Salad

in Appetizers, Californian, Events, Fruits & Vegetables, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Salads

Early Thanksgiving Feast

Have you ever played that game where you ask questions like, “If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?”  It’s always interesting to hear the answers.  One of my favorite questions is “If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?”  I think you can learn a lot about a person by finding out who fascinates them, or who some of their heroes are.  Last week I got to spend a day actually living my answer to a variation of one of those questions.  If you could have Thanksgiving dinner with a group of food bloggers, who would they be and why?

Thanksgiving Feast

Yep, I got to spend a day having an early Thanksgiving feast with some of the neatest people from the food blogging world.  Patti Londre was the mastermind of the get together, assigning each guest a dish from the traditional Thanksgiving spread to bring to the table.  The result was an afternoon of taste bud tantalizing food and incredible company.  The idea was to help inspire each other in preparing for our own Thanksgiving feasts, while getting some new recipes to add to our repertoire in the process.  In addition, it gave us the opportunity to spend some time giving thanks with our “food family.”

Gorgeous Thanksgiving Turkey

It really was a dream meal.  Who wouldn’t want to have Denise Vivaldo styling their Thanksgiving table, and making sure that each dish was ready for its “beauty shot”? (Plus, Denise is incredibly entertaining because of her story telling abilities!)

Denise Vivaldo making the table picture perfect

Who wouldn’t want Greg Henry around to tickle their funny bone?

Greg, Sippity Sup

Plus, these people can cook!  The food was incredible.  I was assigned the salad course, and decided to revisit one of my favorite creations from the past year, my Crab, Avocado, Pomegranate Salad served in endive leaves.

Avocado, Crab, Pomegranate Salad

I tweaked the recipe to make it easier, replacing some of the harder to find ingredients, as well as adjusting some of the measurements to better suit the changes.  (See revised recipe below.)

But even more satisfying than the food that we enjoyed, was the company.  Each of these individuals is inspiring and passionate about what they do.  I love that I could spend an afternoon with such talent, yet never see a hint of ego.  They understand that no matter what we know, or think we know, this world is so big and constantly changing, that there is always more to learn and see.  Each of us is a unique individual.  We each have our own story to tell and our own distinct outlook on life.  When we can remember that, we’re able to enrich each others lives.  Each of these individuals has touched my life during this past year, and I am so grateful to them for it!

A Food Family Thanksgiving Feast

Plus, it’s always nice to feel completely normal because you’re not the only one taking pictures of your food.  In fact, at this type of gathering, it’s not rude to have your camera on the table—it’s expected!

Greg, Sippity Sup, photographing the feast

I suggest checking out each of the creations from our meal, and adding at least one of them to your Thanksgiving meal this year—you won’t regret it!

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Crab, Avocado, Pomegranate Salad in Crisp Endive Leaves

Makes approximately 8 to 10 servings

For the Pomegranate Dressing:
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons vegetable stock
3 tablespoons 100% pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the Salad:
6 ounces cooked Dungeness crab meat
2 medium, ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup pomegranate arils
2 large heads Belgian endive
Finely grated lemon zest, to garnish

1. Make the Pomegranate Sauce: Fill the bottom half of a double boiler with water, making certain the bottom of the top half does not touch the water. Bring the water to a simmer. Whisk together the pomegranate sauce ingredients in the top half of the double boiler and place over the simmering water. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens and becomes the consistency of thin mayonnaise. Force the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to strain out any lumps and let it cool. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to use.

2. Assemble the Salad: Pick through the crab meat to remove any cartilage or shell that may remain. Combine the crab meat, avocado, and pomegranate arils in a bowl and mix gently. Wash and separate the endive leaves. Spoon a small amount of the salad into each endive leaf. Drizzle the pomegranate sauce over the salad, garnish with lemon zest, and serve.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara | Creative Culinary November 14, 2011 at 11:22 am

I love every element of this salad plus it’s gorgeous presentation.

And wow…what a nice event! I get together with local food bloggers too but in all truth, few are really into it more than the occasional post; I have yet to find the caliber of a group such as yours; people who love to prepare, style and EAT like many of us do.


Bev Weidner November 14, 2011 at 11:35 am

That’s me right there in that seat!!

Oh, wait. It’s not.

One can dream….;)


Lyndsey @ The Tiny Skillet November 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

Sounds like a fantastic time! Funny…I can just see you all lining up waiting to take your photo. My family is so good to me asking “did you get a picture of it?” before they eat.

I like your salad served on the endive, looks so fresh and yummy!. I would love to dig in to that whole meal. I am checking it all out! Thanks for sharing.


Mimi Avocado November 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Hooray for using avocado in the Thanksgiving menu! Beautiful salad…love the colors! And healthy too! We’ll be sharing a link to your post on our Facebook page today…(you knew we would!) ;)


Geez Louise November 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Lovely post, great recipe! Thank you for sharing the day with me it was a special way to start this holiday season.


sippitysup November 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Open mouth open heart! I love having you in my life! GREG


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

This is a beautiful salad Rachael and such a fun post. How lovely for you to have such talented, sweet bloggers all in the same place at the same time. This salad is a winner and perfect for the season :)


Kim Bee November 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I am a huge fan of Tori’s so when I saw her write up on this event I just had to stop by here and visit as well. The dinner looks superb and the company was incredible. Really enjoyed reading about this from all the people who attended. Have a great week.


Joan Nova November 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Well that’s a dinner to be thankful for…what a spread! What a guest list!

I’m tasked with appetizers this year and want to create a light selection (no bread-y stuff) and I had thought about crabmeat in endive as one of the choices but I didn’t think about adding avocado and arils. It certainly makes it look more festive.


Patti at Worth The Whisk November 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Such a delightful time together, THANK YOU for your participation and the “keeper” recipe, Rachael. We all have much to be thankful for. KISS!!


Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious November 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm

It was LOVELY to share an early Thanksgiving with you. I have so enjoyed getting to know you the past year, as our paths have crossed at various camps and events. Cheers to another great foodie year coming up!


Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen November 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Rachael, you are an inspiration! I’m so happy we had a chance to break bread together at this wonderful potluck. Looking forward to that Japanese cooking lesson we talked about! xo


Krista {BudgetGourmetMom} November 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Fabulous get together! LOVE it! Miss you tons!


chinmayie @ love food eat November 15, 2011 at 12:31 am

That is such a gorgeous spread! I am hungry just by looking at all those yummy foods on the table :)


brandi November 15, 2011 at 6:00 am

what a gorgeous table of food! and i love all the photo-taking shots :) it’s fun to see other people doing the same crazy things we do to get a good picture.


LiztheChef November 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

OK, and the prize for the prettiest, most tasty and healthy Thanksgiving salad goes to…Rachael :)


Erina November 16, 2011 at 7:00 am

This is a very good looking salad! I love the color of pomegranate! All other dishes look so yummy too. I’m getting hungry…


kamran siddiqi November 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I’m pretty sure I just died and went to heaven from seeing such a gorgeous turkey. My heavens! Now, can we just skip over the next week or so, so I can finally pig-out. I think we might have to add this salad to the meal; I’m not big on crab, but I have a strong feeling I’ll absolutely adore the crab in this!


Discover Endive November 17, 2011 at 4:34 am

Hi Rachael,

Thanks so much for sharing this post, letting the rest of us have a glimpse into a great gathering and many delicious recipes. Of course, I love that you’ve included California endive in your holiday plans and hope it inspires others to do the same. Avocado and crab are hard to resist!

Thanks again for including the endive!

on behalf of Discover Endive


Nancy Long November 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

The salad sounds fantastic, but will probably have to sub lump blue crab. As much as I love Dungeness, it is difficult to find here


Nancy Long November 17, 2011 at 9:01 am

for that matter the Belgian Endive is pretty much impossible to find here to. Will probably use some small crisp lettuce leaf, possibly hearts of Romaine


Shaina November 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Looks like you had a fantastic time together, Rachael! What a lovely group of people and the perfect salad to share.


Discover Endive December 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm


If you let me know where you’re located, I can try to find retailers around you that carry Belgian (or in this case, California) endive. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are always a good bet!

on behalf of Discover Endive
endive2010 @ gmail (dot) com


Yuki Gomi January 19, 2013 at 12:00 am

Great photos! I love crab when it is in season, and quite happy to eat both the white and the brown meat. Makes a mean bisque too! I teach Japanese cooking in London, UK plenty of tasty North Sea crab here.


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