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Fish and Shellfish, Quick and Easy, Salads

Dungeness crab salad with Thai basil and mint

Dungeness crab salad with Thai basil and mint
Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I make a variety of crab salads, but I thought one I tasted at Grace restaurant was particularly good. Tamar Wilson Westwood Hills Dear Tamar: We think it's not just good but extraordinary, fragrant with fresh herbal flavors ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4

Lemon vinaigrette

  • 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons lemon juice (about 7 lemons), divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • Rice vinegar

Step 1Combine 1 cup lemon juice and the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to three-fourths cup of syrup. Cool.

Step 2Place the remaining 6 tablespoons of lemon juice in a small bowl. Add one-half cup lemon syrup and the grape seed oil. The acidity of the lemons will determine how much rice vinegar is needed (we used about 2 tablespoons with regular lemon juice). Add vinegar to taste and balance with more oil if needed.

Basil oil

  • 3 ounces basil leaves
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons grape seed oil

Step 1Blanch the basil in boiling salted water for 20 seconds, then plunge in ice water to stop the cooking. Wring out the water. Combine the basil with the oil in a blender and puree. Add a dash of salt.

Step 2Place the mixture in a saucepan and bring it just to a boil. Remove from heat and allow it to steep 15 minutes. Strain the oil through cheesecloth or a chinois into a squirt bottle or small jar.

Salad and assembly

  • 8 ounces Dungeness crab meat
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/3 cup julienned mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup julienned Thai basil
  • 1 ounce mixed microgreens, plus additional for garnish
  • Lemon vinaigrette
  • Salt, pepper
  • Basil oil

Step 1In a bowl, combine the crab, peas, mint, basil and microgreens. Add the lemon vinaigrette as needed, about 2 to 3 tablespoons, to dress the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2Place one-fourth of the mixture in a 3 1/2 -inch ring mold on one of four salad plates. Pack it down, then gently remove the ring. Garnish the top with microgreens. Repeat with the remaining three plates (or spoon the salad onto four plates). Garnish with more of the vinaigrette and the basil oil.

Note: From Neal Fraser, chef and co-owner, Grace in Los Angeles.


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