Appetizers Fish & Shellfish Produce Uncategorized

Avocado-Crab Gratinée

Avocado Crab Gratinée
Avocado Crab Gratinée

A few weeks after the amazing California Avocado Commission dinner at One Market, I flew to the south of Spain for a family wedding. We stayed at a small inn about 45 minutes west of Malaga called Hotel Rural La Paloma. Owned and operated by an Italian couple, Philippo and Elena took amazing care of us.

Hotel Rural La Paloma, Spain

The menu at the inn’s restaurant was a great mix of Spanish and Italian-influenced dishes. They were incredibly accommodating as well. My husband is a vegan, and they were happy to prepare separate, off-the-menu dishes for him. While I am moving towards a vegan diet, I took the opportunity to taste a few dishes on the menu that contained dairy and seafood. One of my favorites was “Aguacate relleno de pulpa de cangrejo gratinado,” or “Puréed avocado stuffed with crab au gratin.” We’ll call it Avocado-Crab Gratinée.

Hotel Rural La Paloma

I couldn’t wait to come home and try to prepare the dish myself. Elena was nice enough to share the recipe with me and both avocados and dungeness crabs happen to be in season right now. This dish is so easy to prepare, you could easily whip it up for weeknight treat for two.

Avocado Crab Gratinée
Avocado-Crab Gratinée
Avocado-Crab Gratinée
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Avocado, crab and cheese. Yum.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 2
  • 1 ripe California Grown Avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2 oz lump crabmeat
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler. Cut the avocado in half. Discard the pit, but reserve the skins. Empty the flesh into a microwave-safe bowl. Mash it with a fork it and add salt and pepper, combining well. Add the heavy cream and the crabmeat and mix well with a fork. If the mixture is too thick, add additional heavy cream.
  2. Warm the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture and stir it in completely. Spoon the mixture either back into the two empty avocado halves or into one or two small oven-safe dishes. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top.
  3. Bake under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese has browned slightly. Serve immediately.
Avocado Crab Gratinée
Avocado Crab Gratinée


CA Avocado Commission Dinner at One Market

In late May, the California Avocado Commission hosted a dinner at One Market in San Francisco for a small group of members of the food media. The five-course tasting menu was prepared by Mark Dommen, chef-partner at One Market. We were invited to taste the wide variety of flavors and textures avocados can provide and to learn a little something about how they are grown. Did you know that avocados are in season in California for a full seven months? March through September. And did you know that California grows 90% of our nation’s avocados? For tips on how to best select and store an avocado, check out the avocado commission website.

avocado commission

I must admit. I am a fairly recent avocado convert. Growing up in Maryland in the eighties, I didn’t see an avocado until I was at least 20, so I was a little bit scared of them until recently. Ten years in California have warmed me up to them and now I can barely eat a veggie burger without smooshing avocado slices on top. The avocado commission dinner was well-timed for me. You could say I was ripe for it.

Here’s what was on the menu:

Avocado Soup
Chilled California Avocado & Pea Soup with Smoked Sable Fish and Shiso
Dungeness Crab Avocado Salad
Dungeness Crab & California Avocado Salad with Lemongrass Sorbet
Alaskan Halibut
Alaskan Halibut “Sous Vide” with California Avocado “Hollandaise,” Asparagus, and a Quail Egg
New York Steak
Wood Grilled New York Steak with California Avocado “Chimichurri,” and Fresh Corn Polenta
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Tart
Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Cake with California Avocado Ice Cream, Strawberries and Almonds

The Dungeness Crab and California Avocado Salad with Lemongrass Sorbet stood out that night as one of my favorite dishes. The recipe is available at the Avocado Commission’s website. As you can see in the photo above, you can prepare it with the avocado slices wrapped around the crab in an almost “sushi” style, or you can prepare it as it is in the photo below, piling the crab on top to make it “tall.”

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