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Garden Chef Recipes

As executive chef for Terlato Wine Group and Terlato Wines International, Colin Crowley prepares meals for a demanding audience: the world’s great winemakers. At Terlato’s Tangley Oaks headquarters in Lake Bluff, visiting winemakers can chat with the chef in his gourmet kitchen as he prepares a meal to accompany their libations. Colin presents his crab salad recipe here, featuring fresh vegetables and herbs you can get locally. He recommends pairing it with Sanford Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County.

Lump Crab and Citrus Salad with Avocado
Makes 12 servings


3 pounds fresh lump crab

One-third cup minced fresh fennel bulb (anise)

One-third cup minced celery

¼ cup minced shallot

¼ cup minced red bell pepper

1½ teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Juice of 1 orange

½ lemon

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, let sit for at least one hour in refrigerator.

For Garnish and Topping

1 pound of maché (lambs' lettuce)

4 fresh avocados, minced

To Serve

Warm crab mixture on a small sheet pan in a 450°-degree oven for approximately 3-5 minutes.

Arrange maché on plate, and spoon about 2 to 2½ oz. of crab mixture over greens; sprinkle avocado on top.