Come la torre di Pisa – Torre con granchio, pompelmo, avocado, melagrana e crescione

I have wanted one of those rings where you make salad towers for so long and could not find any…after digging Sur La Table, I finally found one completely random since it was hiding in the spatula and spoon section. I was as excited as if I found some gold nugget! I love that store, I can spend hours just looking at every little item. They do have a lot of gadgets but in that respect I am a kitchen utensil geek. Not that I have a lot, because I don’t have any more room in my kitchen and when you have no more space available, the rule should be “you buy something new, you throw away something old” but I cannot throw anything away, I always feel I would need it at some point, I get so attached to my kitchen tools that the kitchen is filled with everything new, old, useless, and useful, and even broken.

A friend of mine came for dinner and she brought me a couple of beautiful pomegranates, she calls them jewels…and they do look like jewels, like little rubys. So I had to use them. Besides, we went out for dinner a couple of weeks ago in a nice Italian restaurant, and we got so disappointed by their crab salad (the crab was canned, and I hate canned crab), it was sitting on top of some sad romaines leaves and sprinkled with cheese! Cheese and crab don’t go with my tastes. Some Italian restaurants should stop trying to please Americans and offer them authentic cuisine instead. I am sure Americans would love it. I think they’re the most adaptable people when food is concerned because they’re so exposed to different cuisines. Honestly that so-called “crab salad” was basically a Cesar salad with canned crab (and believe me Cesar did not eat that salad).

Actually I noticed that many restaurants do use canned crab! what a shame! (and not cheep joints, nice restaurants that I will not bad mouth but it bugs me). I would charge a little more for the salad, but would use fresh crab! Some restaurants are cutting corners where they should absolutely not do it. So anyway, I promised my friend I would make her a nice crab salad with lots of fresh ingredients that would make her forget about the precarious one we had.

I love grapefruit so much with crab, smoked salmon and shrimps in salad, that this tower has somehow become my signature crab salad. It’s fruity, flavorful and so refreshing. You can also use shrimps and smoke salmon as I mentioned if you cannot find crab. It has a different twist but it’s as good. Also pomegranate vinegar is a must, it really enhances the salad beautifully.

Ingredients for 4

  • 1.5 lb king crab legs
  • 1 red grapefruit, quarters peeled
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 endive, chopped crosswise

For the vinaigrette

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp pomegranate vinegar
  • 1 tsp grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbs chives, chopped
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper


For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients together and mix well.

First remove crab meat from its shells. Remove excess water and set aside.

Wash endive and watercress. Cut endives and remove stems from watercress, keeping the leaves.

Cut pomegranate lengthwise and remove seeds.

Using ring, place some crab at the bottom of the plate, add a layer of avocado, drizzle with vinaigrette. Add 2 quarters of grapefruit, some pomegranate seeds, endives and watercress and add a little vinaigrette. Press firmly so that tower will stand still. Start again with a second layer of the same ingredients.

Remove ring and decorate with some pomegranate seeds and vinaigrette around the tower.