Crab Salad with Walnut-Lemon Mayonnaise

This crunchy, lemony crab salad is perfect as part of a buffet or for a first course.

I found this recipe looking for a salad or fish dish for the wedding shower of my good friend’s daughter.  I thought it would be great to combine both salad and fish and since we were doing Middle Eastern, I looked through Joyce Goldstien’s “Back to Square One” cookbook, definitely one of my favorites.  This recipe peaked my interest so I tested it for my husband’s birthday and it was a complete winner.  It will now be one of my go-to first course salads in a mult-course dinner menu.  You can find the blog post associated to this recipe by clicking here.

Serves 8

2 egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon finely mince garlic
3/4 cup walnut oil
3/4 cup mild olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large cucumbers, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 pound best quality crab meat, picked over for cartilage
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup toasted walnuts
3 tablespoon chopped tarragon, divided
Watercress and/or lettuce
16 blanched asparagus spears, sliced diagonally
8 little new potatoes (red, white, blue or yellow Finnish), steamed then sliced or quartered
Extra lemon juice and walnut oil to dress greens and vegetables

For the walnut lemon mayonnaise, combine the yolks with a few teaspoons of the lemon juice and the pureed garlic in a bowl, blender or the bowl of a food processor.  Gradually whisk or process in the oils, drop by drop at first, until a smooth emulsion is formed, and then more rapidly until all the oil has been added.  You can also use prepared mayonnaise.  Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, combine the diced cucumbers, crab, lemon zest, 1/2 cup of the walnuts and 2 tablespoons of the tarragon.  Add in enough of the mayonnaise to hold everything together–you may not need all of the mayonnaise.  Season with remaining lemon juice to taste.  Toss the aparagus with a bit of the mayonnaise, thinned with the extra lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.  Do the same with the new potatoes.  Toss the lettuce or watercress (or a combination of both) with the walnut oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  To serve,  place lettuce on a large platter and top with the crab and cucumber mixture.  Pile the potatoes on one side and the asparagus on another.  Sprinkle everything with the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts and remaining tablespoon of tarragon.  You may also make individual plates for a first course.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply