Main Course · Recipe · Salad · Seafood

Crab-happy

The fact that you enjoy something doesn’t mean you should over-indulge. I enjoy the occasional glass of scotch, or the hunk of flour-less chocolate truffle cake, but I don’t have to explain why too much of either could cause problems. This is why my new obsession with crab makes me happy. There is no reason not to indulge in all the crab I can get my claws on. Other than the fact I’ll go broke (at the supermarket yesterday, a pound of jumbo lump was 34. freaking 99), crab will do nothing but good for me, especially when prepared with loads of veggies in a scrumptious, dinner sized, salad.

This crab salad recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit, August 1995, made into dinner proportions and some ingredients are tweaked to my liking. I was wary of it at first, but since I told Jim to print out a crab salad recipe and didn’t bother to check what he had chosen until we were already at the supermarket, I gave it a try–and I am so glad I did. This crab salad was DELICIOUS!

Crab Salad

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chopped tart green apple
    (such as Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped seeded red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped seeded green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 pound crabmeat, drained well, picked over
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Sauce

  • 4 small heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Pinch of ground hot chili pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

2 heads Belgian endive, trimmed, separated into spears
Chopped fresh chives

For Crab Salad

  1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and ginger and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add apple, zucchini, both bell peppers and carrot and sauté until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix crabmeat, mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons chopped chives. Add sautéd vegetables in large bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For Sauce:

  1. Combine tomatoes, cilantro, vinegar, garlic and cayenne in blender and puree until almost smooth. Gradually add oil and blend until sauce is thick. Transfer to medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange endive spears on large platter, tips toward platter edge. Spoon crab salad into center of platter. Drizzle sauce over endive. Garnish salad with chopped fresh chives and serve.

I used natural pasteurized canned crab. To eliminate some of the canned taste that I don’t like, I washed the crab a few times before using. Canned crab isn’t as oceany fresh as the real stuff, but because of all the vegetables, apple, and herbs in this recipe, it really doesn’t make a difference. I haven’t had much luck anyway, in finding fresh already extracted crab meat anywhere. Ohh, how I wish I lived by the sea…

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