West Coast Crab, Cucumber, Pink Grapefruit, White Balsamic and Macadamia Nut by Simon Attridge, Executive Chef at Gleneagles

After an incredible festive season full of rich and hearty food, I start to crave lighter and fresher dishes from January and into spring. For me, crab is one of the most versatile varieties of shellfish and Scottish crab is second to none. Scottish brown crab is in season throughout the year, making it a great base ingredient to pair with other more seasonal flavours.

The most important thing is to make sure your crab is as fresh as possible. At Gleneagles, we source our crab from George Campbell and Sons, a family business based in the heart of Perth, which has been in operation since 1872. Over the last 140 years, they have established a lasting reputation for providing the finest fresh fish, shellfish and smoked fish in Scotland. They work with a network of fisherman across the country to ensure all of their seafood is harvested in a responsible and sustainable way.

Celebrating sustainable and delicious Scottish seafood is part of VisitScotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020. The best produce from Scotland’s coasts and waters is showcased on the menus at Gleneagles each season, so we’re already looking forward to being part of Scotland’s official year-long themed campaign.

This fresh and vibrant crab dish can be found on the menu at The Strathearn, our famous fine dining restaurant, which celebrates the best of fresh Scottish seasonal produce. Crab will also be one of the star ingredients on the menu as part of ‘The Strathearn Series’, which launches at Gleneagles this month. Our exclusive new programme of dining events will celebrate the UK’s most promising chefs and restaurateurs. I will be hosting this relaxed and interactive dining collaboration by welcoming a host of acclaimed guest chefs to The Strathearn restaurant’s kitchen, including Roberta Hall from Edinburgh’s The Little Chartroom, Paul Graham formerly from Edinburgh’s Sonder and Scott Smith from Edinburgh’s Fhior, as well as Sam Carter from Restaurant 22 in Cambridge.

Each event in The Strathearn Series will invite 12 guests to enjoy a six-course, wine-paired meal, prepared in front of them in The Scullery – an open kitchen within Gleneagles’ newly-renovated Strathearn restaurant. The guest chefs, who are all head chefs or chef patrons in small independent restaurants, represent some of the best upcoming talent in the industry.

The Strathearn Series package starts from £500 per person in January-March and £550 in April, including dinner for two guests at one of the events, an overnight stay in a Country Room and breakfast. To book, and for more information on The Strathearn Series, contact Reservations at resort.sales@gleneagles.com or call 0800 704 705.

Serves 4


For the crab mix:

260g white crab meat

60g mayonnaise

2g lime zest

10g lime juice

5g coriander, finely chopped

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

For the pink grapefruit gel- (If the gel is not possible, it can be submitted for extra pink grapefruit segments):

50g pink grapefruit juice

8g agar agar

6g caster sugar

For the pickled cucumber spaghetti:

1 cucumber, peeled

100ml water

100ml chardonnay vinegar

10g sugar

5g sea salt

1g fennel seed

1g black peppercorn

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

For the white balsamic dressing:

60ml white balsamic vinegar

120ml rapeseed oil

To garnish:

80g macadamia nuts

Fresh grapefruit segments


1. Begin by preparing the pickled cucumber spaghetti. This can be done in advance and if it is stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it can last for a couple of months. Put the peeled cucumber through a spiralizer vegetable cutter and spin to create spaghetti-like strands. Place the cucumber spaghetti into a bowl and place to one side. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling pickling liquor through a fine sieve and over the cucumber. Allow to cool before refrigerating.

2. For the crab mixture, add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly then put to one side.

3. To make the pink grapefruit gel, start by mixing the sugar and agar together in a bowl then add to a pan with the grapefruit juice and bring to a rapid boil. Whisk the liquid whilst it is boiling for 30 seconds. This is a very important step, the agar needs to be engaged otherwise the gel won’t set. Pour the liquid into a tray and place into the fridge until set. Once set, remove from the tray and place into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Place in a bowl and refrigerate.

4. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the macadamia nuts onto a baking tray and roast for 8 minutes then leave them to cool to room temperature.

5. Next, carefully peel and segment a grapefruit with a sharp knife. Cut each segment into three.

6. Finally, mix the white balsamic vinegar and rapeseed oil in a bowl until combined.

7. To plate, portion the crab meat out into ring moulds in the centre of the plate. Remove the moulds and top the crab meat with the picked cucumber spaghetti. Do the grapefruit gel around the crab then arrange the macadamia nuts and grapefruit segments between the gel. Finish with a drizzle of the balsamic dressing and serve.