Marriage of melon and crabmeat creates a refreshing summer repast

Intro by Pam George | Photograph by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the July 2022 issue


Scott Viselli is one chef who can stand the heat. For about six weeks, he worked in the kitchen of a 77-foot yacht, making meals for a rock band touring southern Florida. He shared the space with cameras filming his activities for the reality TV show “Yacht Stop.”

The show has yet to leave the dock, but Viselli is now the star of his own production. In 2021, the Dagsboro resident opened Fin & Claw, a seafood market and to-go shop in the Ocean View area. Those in the know check Facebook for his creative specials, including a fried hake Reuben, a meatloaf and crab cake “surf and turf,” or Nashville hot fried fish tacos.


Viselli, who began working at Bob’s Big Boy at age 13, moved to Delaware for love, and he also found a passion for the hospitality industry. Although accustomed to sweltering kitchens, the chef appreciates an opportunity to turn off the stove. His crab and melon carpaccio requires no cooking. “It won’t heat up your kitchen when it’s already hot outside,” he says.

Traditionally, carpaccio is thin slices of meat or fish. Viselli uses watermelon. If the pink flesh doesn’t cooperate, just dice it instead. The scallions in the dish remind the northern Virginian of summers spent eating the onions with salt by his uncle’s pool.

Finish the carpaccio with goat or feta cheese, he suggests. Serve with a side of arugula or other fresh greens. No parsley? Try cilantro instead.

Tip: Although the recipe calls for “peeling” the melons, you’re really cutting the tough exterior. Slice off one end to stabilize the melon on a flat surface before using your knife.



(Serves 4)

1 small seedless watermelon

1 small cantaloupe

Zest and juice of two limes

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons of chopped scallion

1 tablespoon of honey

3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 pound of jumbo lump crabmeat

Pinch of Old Bay

Pickled onions to taste (at right)

STEP 1 Remove the outer layer and rind from the watermelon and slice the pink fruit into rounds — as thin as possible.

STEP 2 Then remove the hard skin and rind from the cantaloupe, discard the seeds and dice into quarter-inch pieces.

STEP 3 In a large bowl, combine the lime and lemon juice/zest, parsley, scallions, honey, olive oil and jalapeno. Stir until incorporated.

STEP 4 Place watermelon slices in a thin layer on a plate. Spread the crab evenly on the watermelon, and drizzle with the vinaigrette mixture.

STEP 5 Garnish with the cantaloupe, a sprinkle of Old Bay and pickled onions.


For the pickled onions:

1 cup of red wine vinegar

1 cup of sugar

2 red onions sliced very thin 

STEP 1 Combine vinegar and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

STEP 2 Pour over the onions and refrigerate for at least two days. Store the onions in the fridge and use them on salads, tacos, sandwiches and salads.