Just when I started getting used to waking up to frosty mornings, hills smokey with fog, and bowls upon bowls of hot soup, I woke up one morning to what felt like spring. The skies have been a sharp clear blue, the air smelling of clean soil, and all the neighborhood children have emerged to ride bikes on the street.

It may be short lived, but for now, we are really enjoying this hint of spring.

The little break from the cold and the rain feels like a mini vacation, and urges one to detox from a winter of heavy foods and endless sweets. I may not be able to indulge in a beach vacation right now, but these little salad boats were a great way to imagine my way to warm sand and a sea breeze.

Endive Spears with Crab, Pomelo and Avocado are simple, light, and what I call spa food. Nestled in endive leaves are sturdy chunks of brightly flavored pomelo, creamy avocado, and crab kissed with a hint of rice vinegar. And sprinkled on top, sandy grains of ruby red Molokai salt. This would make for a fresh appetizer, but for me today, it was the ideal afternoon snack.

Endive Spears with Crab, Pomelo and Avocado

Serves 4-6

  • 12 endive leaves
  • 1 pomelo, segmented (see How to Peel/Segment a Grapefruit for tips), each segment sliced into thirds
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 6-8 oz crab
  • light drizzle rice vinegar
  • cilantro, finely chopped
  • best quality course salt for finishing (I used red Molokai salt, but any good Kosher salt will do), to taste

In each endive spear, arrange pomelo and avocado. Top with crab. Drizzle lightly with rice vinegar. Garnish with cilantro and finishing salt. Serve immediately.


  1. Tes

    What a beautiful dish! It is so light and fresh and balance. I just love pomelo. It sounds perfect serving this way :)

  2. Jill Colonna

    It’s still cold here in Paris but this dish looks so delicious I’m sure it will bring Spring along in our minds. Lovely combination!

  3. fooddreamer

    It definitely doesn’t feel like spring here! But these look delicious and I love avocado with crab. I would happily devour these while looking out my window at the 3 ft of snow!

    • Liren

      Oh yes, I ate that whole plate all by myself :)

  4. Jean

    What perfect starters! You and I are in a crabby state of mind, Liren! I’ve just posted crab cakes (w/ avocado relish), too. :-) I can almost taste the perfect balance of flavors. Yum!

    • Liren

      Hee hee, I’m always in a crabby mood :) Love crab in all its forms, and crab cakes are one of my weaknesses!

  5. skip to malou

    love how they are called salad boats… makes me want to sail away to spring.. or better yet SUMMER!

    definitely a breath of fresh air!

  6. heather

    I’m all over this idea! If my bridesmaids and maid of honor weren’t seafood-phobes, I’d request this as finger food for my bridal shower. Perhaps I’ll use them to counter my fiancé’s chicken wings for the Superbowl. I AM a dietitian after all — have to have at least one healthy, nourishing thing! These look fantastic; definitely a hint of spring in the cold, grey of winter.

    Cheers and thanks for the idea,


    • Liren

      Oh no, seafood phobic friends? Ah well, I love the idea of serving them at a Superbowl party. VERY unexpected but I’m sure even the manliest man would take a bite. Maybe kick it up with some jalapeno to entice them :)

    • Liren

      Thank you, Valerie! We all need that little break, once in a while :)

  7. Becky

    What a beautiful salad and I love the fresh, healthy ingredients with the endive and pomelo. This would be a light, healthy appetizer.

  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    The weather has been warming up here in LA too recently, it does feel like a little bit of spring, although I’m not sure where winter went this year since it never got very cold. Well I’m enjoying it anyways. Grapefruit and endive are perfect for those warmer weather days when you crave something crisp and refreshing.

    • Liren

      Hi Silvie – oh, that makes me miss the “winters” in LA (we lived there for about two years). I do love that the grapefruit season is in the wintertime – it’s a great way to hang on till the real warm weather!

  9. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I had to stop reading the first part of this post… we’re FREEZING here!

    But… but… I forgive you because you have posted yet another beautiful endive recipe (you know how I love endive).

    • Liren

      Aw, I do feel bad for my East Coast friends! When I was typing this out, I did feel a few pangs of guilt that I was gushing about our warm weather when the rest of the country is shivering. But hopefully we can all use our imaginations and pretend that summer is around the corner. Thank you for forgiving me :)

  10. Monet

    Such simple and fresh ingredients guarantee success! This looks like the perfect snack on a warm winter day. We are starting to see the sun again in Austin, and I’m eager for warm weather and light food like this. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. May the middle of your week be full of joy and laughter.

  11. lil @ sweetsbysillianah

    these are definitely on the menu for my next dinner party… i love crab and avocado! and i’ve been wondering what i could make with endives… these are perfect! =)

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