Crab Meat Salad with Grilled Melons

recipe courtesy of Luke Desanttis of Old Fields Restaurant

Serves 4


  • 2 cups jumbo lump crab meat                 
  • 2 lemons, zest from one and juice broth       
  • 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon    
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper      
  • 8 leaves butter lettuce
  • 1 head Mache or other delicate spring lettuce

Gently fold ingredients together except lettuce, and season to taste.

Melon Marinade:

  • ¼ cup J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay                 
  • 1 lime, zested     
  • 1 lemon, zested     
  • 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper           
  • 4 wedges of watermelon, about 1” thick and 4” long  
  • 8 melon ball size pieces honeydew melon        
  • 8 melon ball size pieces cantaloupe
Mix all ingredients except melons together in a small bowl. Pour marinade over melon pieces and let sit for one hour. Thread melon pieces on bamboo skewers. Grill for 1 minute per side. Remove melon balls from skewers.

Balsamic Reduction
2 cups balsamic vinegar

Simmer the vinegar in a small pan until it becomes syrupy and dime-size bubbles form. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and let cool. When cool, they syrup should be sweet (not bitter) and just barely pour from a squeeze bottle or spoon.
To Serve
Divide melon pieces between four plates, top with lettuces and finish with crab meat salad. Drizzle balsamic reduction lightly onto plate around the salad. Enjoy with J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay!