Fresh, tender asparagus wants to meet sweet, delicate blue crab to create the perfect light salad to share with my favorite Girl. Must use a light dress so that the flavors of both are not buried or masked; fresh snipped chives, fresh lemon juice, and baby springtime lettuce are preferred and encouraged.
Blue crab has to be wild-caught and from the North American east Coast; lump meat for the back fin of the crustacean is the best. Buying fresh crabs, steaming, and picking the meat is not necessary; though admirable. Purchase crabmeat from a reliable and trustworthy fishmonger or market; tinned crabmeat and imitation crab are unacceptable and will face immediate rejection.
Make sure to pick over the crabmeat before using so that there is no shell or cartilage.
Take advantage of the local seasonality of fresh asparagus. There is great reward in the flavor. Choose plump, medium spears and make sure to remove the woody ends. Stay away from import asparagus that is in the markets outside of season and is often inferior in taste and much more costly and using tinned asparagus is out of the question. Please refer to immediate rejection statement above.
Pairing with a chilled glass of crisp Pinot Grigio, fruity Chardonnay, or herbal Sauvignon Blanc will garner some admiration and will make a fantastic impression on the palate. More pictures and complete instructions are below. All pictures are accurate and recent. Let’s do lunch or dinner – or both!
My Recipe: DEVILED BLUE CRAB & ASPARAGUS SALAD serves 2
Deviled Crab Salad
1 c blue crab lump meat, pick through carefully
2 Tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, take from the center of the bunch, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
6 drops hot pepper sauce
cracked black pepper
10 med asparagus spears, trim the woody ends and tie into a bundle
water, for boiling
2 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp cracked black pepper
4 c Spring baby lettuce mix
2 sundried tomatoes, finely julienne, optional
Prepare the Lemon Vinaigrette: Combine the fresh lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl; whisk until sugar and kosher salt dissolves; add extra virgin olive oil and whisk until vinaigrette is slightly thickened; refrigerate until ready for use
Prepare the Asparagus: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil; add kosher salt; add asparagus bundle; cook for one minute; remove from boiling water (using tongs); and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking and set bright green color
Once asparagus have cooled, remove from bundle and slice in half lengthwise; toss with a teaspoon of the Lemon Vinaigrette; refrigerate until ready for use
Prepare the Blue Crab: In a medium mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, whole grain Dijon mustard, chives, celery, fresh lemon juice, hot pepper sauce; whisk until well combined; add picked lump crabmeat; gently fold in crabmeat into the dressing; season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste; refrigerate until ready for use
To Assemble: Toss the remaining Lemon Vinaigrette with the baby lettuces and julienne sundried tomato; mound the crab salad in the center of the plate; surround the crab with the dressed lettuces; and drape the asparagus across the top of the crab
Serve with a variety of whole-grain crackers and/or flatbreads
always in good T.A.S.T.E – cause you gottatastethis!