Largely Unadulterated Crab Salad
When seafood goes straight from the water to your local market - as it does here on my island home-away-from-home in Stonington, Maine - resist the temptation to dress it up with fancy sauces or dips or lots of mayo and other gunk. Instead, let its essence of summer sing out loud and clear with a touch of herbs and other aromatics, designed to enhance flavor, not obscure! Here’s one of my favorite ways to serve our local Peekytoe crab meat: a simple six-ingredient, one-bowl recipe, which is very much in this less-is-more vein - and insanely addictive any time of day! I dolloped it on crackers for apps last night, but try it atop poached eggs in the morning or stuffed inside a luscious crab melt for a midday snack.
Yield: About 1 1 /4 cups
Prep Talk: If you’re planning to use this salad as a party app, by all means, make it on the morning of the event; then wrap it with plastic and chill it until it’s time to eat. (There’s no reason to be making anything right before guests come over.) However, for optimum freshness, I like to eat crab meat the day I buy it, provided it’s very fresh to start. Be sure to buy crab meat that tastes and smells of the sea, without being fishy.
- 8 ounces well picked crab meat. (I use oh-so-delicate Peekytoe crab meat, which you can also purchase frozen online if you don’t have the benefit of a nearby supplier. However, it’s at least twice as expensive this way.)
- 2 teaspoons finely grated red onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice (less than 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh From The Sea
Photo by Julia M. Usher
1 | Place the crab meat in a small bowl, and with clean hands, carefully pick through it again to make sure there are no stray shells.
2 | Add the next four ingredients and stir to evenly distribute them. Stir in the mayonnaise, just enough the bind the crab meat and aromatics together without overwhelming the flavor of the crab. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
In the mood for more summer? Check out some of my other seasonal recipes and parties, below.