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Fish and Shellfish, Quick and Easy, Salads

Dungeness crab and celery salad

Sometimes it's the flavors that are right under our noses -- or buried in the crisper drawer -- that are most worth celebrating. Take celery. Because it's integral to so many recipes, a dedicated cook always has it around. Celery ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4

Mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Sea salt

Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the vinegar and the mustard until pale yellow. Whisking constantly, add the oil drop by drop at first, until the mixture begins to thicken.

Step 2Still whisking constantly, continue adding the oil, pouring now in a slow stream, until all the oil is incorporated. If the mixture begins to break, you can add a few drops of water to bring it back together. Season with salt to taste. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days. Makes 1 1/3 cups.

Salad and assembly

  • 1 cooked Dungeness crab, about 2 pounds (about 1 3/4 cups crab meat)
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 5 stalks celery, trimmed
  • 4 large or 5 medium radishes
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tender celery leaves, plus additional whole leaves for garnish
  • 5 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 butter lettuce leaves

Step 1Remove the crab from the shells. Sprinkle with Meyer lemon juice. Set aside.

Step 2Use a vegetable peeler to peel the celery, then cut it into quarter-inch slices. Trim the radishes and cut them into half-inch dice.

Step 3In a large bowl, combine the crab meat, celery, radishes, chives, chopped celery leaves, mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4To serve, place two butter lettuce leaves on each of four salad plates. Spoon a quarter of the crab and celery salad atop each. Garnish with a few whole celery leaves.

Note: Choose a Dungeness crab that feels heavy for its weight and ask your fishmonger to clean it and crack it for you. Discard any tough, outer stalks of celery. Regular lemon juice may be substituted for the Meyer lemon juice.
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