The one-pound can of claw crabmeat drew my attention at Trader Joe’s on Saturday so I scooped it up with plans to make crab salad for sandwiches. While I love crab cakes, husband is not a fan, so the salad is a choice that provides me with lunch material for a few days. Had the avocadoes there not been rock-hard, I would have enjoyed adding that to the plan, thinly sliced over the crab salad on soft multi-grain bread or – even better – one of the croissants that my son’s girlfriend brought over.
The perfect accompaniment – a side of French potato salad. No mayo, just a light dressing of mustardy vinaigrette with a few additions for crunch and color. I first discovered this in Julia’s recipe as a component for salad Nicoise, and prefer it now over anything with mayonnaise-based dressing.
CILANTRO-LIME CRAB SALAD
INGREDIENTS: 1-lb can claw crab-meat (no need to spend a fortune – $9.99 at TJ’s); 1/3 cup Hellman’s Light Mayo; 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion; 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions; 1/2 rib finely chopped celery; 3 T minced red or yellow bell pepper; 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; juice of one lime plus some of the grated peel; 1 t ground cumin; 1 t Old Bay Seasoning; s&p to taste
PREPARATION: Drain and lightly rinse the crabmeat in a colander and set aside while you combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Fold the crabmeat into the dressing and chill well before serving.
This makes a lovely centerpiece for a composed salad plate, or a sandwich as shown above. A soft bread or croissant is perfect, with just a few leaves of spring mix or thinly sliced avocado.
FRENCH POTATO SALAD
INGREDIENTS: 2 lbs small red-skinned potatoes cut into pieces about 3/4″; 2t Kosher salt; 2 T finely chopped shallots; 1 T whole-grain mustard; 1/2 T Dijon mustard; 1 T white wine vinegar; 3-4 minced cornichons or 1 T small capers; 2 T minced red or yellow bell pepper; splash of dry white wine; 3 T extra virgin olive oil; 2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
PREPARATION: Bring potatoes to a boil in water salted with 1 tsp kosher salt, cover and simmer until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and let sit while you prepare the dressing.
In a large bowl, whisk together all dressing components except the oil; then continue whisking as you slowly add the olive oil so it will emulsify.
Add the still-warm potatoes to the dressing and toss to combine. Delicious served warm, but leftovers are just fine when chilled.