Recipe: Crab Stick Salad With Nectarines and Plums

Ever noticed that the salads you order at restaurants are somehow more delicious than the ones you put together at home?  Every bite seems to have perfect crunch and zest, and a more satisfying, full flavour.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  By paying attention to flavour pairings and textures, as well as getting creative with seasonal ingredients, there’s no reason why you can’t whip up restaurant-worthy salads in your own kitchen.

South Africa is blessed with an abundance of home-grown produce, and as the end of summer nears, you should be taking full advantage of the stone fruit season.  Peaches, nectarines and plums are amongst the most versatile of fruits, and deserve a pride of place in your summer salads.  Having a repertoire of easy, yet delicious salad recipes also helps us serve up a tasty, balanced meal when family dinners are frequently disrupted by power cuts.

Consider some of the things that restaurant chefs may be doing differently when it comes to creating their ‘moreish’ salads:

  • Adding seasonings such as spices, herbs, honey and citrus to salad dressings that have a good balance of three parts oil to one part acid such vinegar or lemon or lime juice
  • Using a mix of greens for a variety of textures and flavours instead of one type of lettuce
  • Adding grains, legumes, noodles, seeds and nuts because a salad doesn’t have to be dominated by leaves
  • Using star ingredients that both stand-out and complement

It’s worth taking the time to recognise the ‘flavour bombs’ you can create using peaches, nectarines and plums as hero salad ingredients.  The bright sweetness of stone fruits pairs perfectly with a wide range of possible salad ingredients such as:

  • Cheeses – ricotta, mozzarella, blue cheese, goat’s cheese, brie and camembert
  • Meats – prosciutto, gammon, seafood, chicken and duck
  • Greens – rocket, lettuce, cress, shredded cabbage, baby kale and young spinach
  • Herbs – mint, basil, rosemary, tarragon, coriander and thyme
  • Spices – ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, black and cayenne peppers
  • Grains and legumes – barley, cous-cous, rice, quinoa, black beans and chickpeas
  • Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, cashews, walnuts and peanuts
  • Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, flax and sesame seeds
  • Vegetables – red onions, garlic, fennel, radish, peas, carrots, bell peppers, chilies and baby marrows
  • Fruits – lemons, limes, blueberries, cape gooseberries, tomatoes and avocados

For inspiration, here is an irresistible stone fruit salad recipes compiled by Juicy Delicious and created by cookbook author, Jenny Morris:

Crab Stick Salad With Nectarines and Plums


  • 500g shredded crab sticks
  • 1 large carrot julienned
  • 2 firm ripe nectarines cut into thin matchsticks
  • 3 firm red plums cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage


Stir all the ingredients together and dress just before serving.
Garnish with toasted black and white sesame seeds

The Dressing

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (Japanese mayo is great)
  • 1 ½ Tbsps lime juice
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 Tbsps honey
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Wasabi paste


Blend all the ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning

More stone fruit salad recipes:
Nectarine and Mozzarella Salad With Basil Vinaigrette by Sam Linsell
Sticky Black Rice With Lime and Mint Coated Nectarines by Justine Drake

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