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A seafood salad with a decidedly grown-up flavor

When I was a kid, seafood salads usually featured a mayonnaise dressing and lots of chopped celery. The flavors of lobster, shrimp and crab deserve better. To that end, this sweet-and-sour version is full of mango, avocado, lime and just enough hot pepper to give the combination some zip.

Use the seafood of your choice or a combination. I’m partial to lobster. I ask the fishmonger to steam it, which makes this a quick dish to assemble.

Seafood Salad with Mango and Lime

12 ounces cooked lobster, shrimp and/or crab (lobster and shrimp cut into 1/2-inch chunks)

1 large or two small ripe mangoes, cut into dice no larger than 1/2-inch

1 red hot cherry pepper or hot chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

A scant 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

juice and zest of 2 limes

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

flesh of 1 avocado, cut into pieces no larger than 1/2-inch

Combine the seafood, mango, hot pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice and zest, vinegar and oil, stirring gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

At this point, if you’re making the salad a day in advance, cover and refrigerate. Otherwise, add the avocado and toss gently to combine. Wait 20 minutes before serving, so the flavors can meld.

Makes about 4 cups (4 to 6 servings)

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