Crab Salad With Lemon-Mayonnaise Dressing

“Here's to the wish for an excellent blue crab season. They are slowly making a comeback around here. There is no substitute for freshly steamed & picked Eastern Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. They are good for you too - 3 ounces of blue crabmeat provides a full day's allowance B12. Don't be fooled into buying tinned crab meat from the eastern Pacific or China (shudder). The taste & texture are grossly inferior & there are sanitation concerns. Best save this recipe for special occasions warranting you either pick freshly steamed Jimmies you have bought or caught or pony up for for the $18/lb lump backfin. We enjoy throwing out our baited traps & then using handlines for sport while waiting to retrieve traps after a tidal cycle. This recipe in The Washington Post was adapted from Joyce Goldstein's "Mediterranean Fresh" (W.W. Norton, 2008).”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Trim the ends of the haricots verts, if desired.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the haricots verts and cook for about 1 minute, just until bright green; use tongs to transfer the beans to the ice-water bath to stop their cooking. Transfer them to a clean, dry dish towel, wrap them up and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. While the haricots verts are cooking, dry-toast the walnuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking or stirring to make sure they do not burn. Remove from the heat; when the nuts have cooled slightly, chop them coarsely and place half of them in a large bowl.
  4. Finely grate the zest of 2 lemons (there should be 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons), then cut the lemons in half and juice 3 halves (there should be about 3 tablespoons); reserve the remaining 1/2 lemon for another use.
  5. Combine the egg yolk, mustard and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup. Slowly whisk in the oil until the mixture is emulsified and quite thick. Add up to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice; add a tablespoon or two of water if a thinner consistency is desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Use a Microplane grater or zester to pulp the garlic cloves, working over the large bowl to catch any juices; then add the garlic pulp. Cut the cucumber into 1/2-inch dice (there should be about 2 1/2 cups) and add it to the bowl, along with the crabmeat and the lemon zest. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine.
  7. Wash and dry the lettuce and watercress leaves, discarding any tough watercress stems; tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Place the greens in a mixing bowl and drizzle with the walnut oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  8. Distribute evenly among individual plates, then divide the haricots verts evenly and place them neatly on the greens; drizzle them with oil, if desired. Divide the dressed cucumber-crab mixture among the salads. Sprinkle the remaining chopped walnuts over the salads. Serve immediately.

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