The Fall is a time for celebrating family, friends and food! My Apple & Crab Salad is a perfect dish for the season, featuring different textures and flavors that highlight this time of year. The contradiction of sweet and tartness that the apples bring along with their wonderful crunch, is always welcome this time of year. One of my favorite ingredients is the addition of fresh, locally caught crab available during this time of the year, allowing us to capture the salty, sweet and firm texture that will stand up to the apple. I also like to use a slightly bitter green, like arugula or frieze, to add another layer of complexity to the dish; however hearts of butter lettuce is excellent as well.
Something quite unique and complimentary to this recipe is the Dijon Oil – and ready for a couple special tips? Prepare this a day early, allowing time for the mustard flavor to marry together with the oil and shallots and when making the vinaigrette be sure to use fresh lemons to insure true lemon brightness in the flavor.
Enjoy and have fun!
Apple & Crab Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette & Dijon Oil
- 3 Granny Smith apples
- 9 oz. Dungeness crab meat (legs preferred)
- 6 oz. arugula (or other lettuce if preferred)
- 3 lemons
- 2 shallots
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cup olive oil
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- Cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
Start off by peeling and mincing the shallots. Separate into two bowls equally. To one of the bowls add the Dijon mustard, a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of kosher salt. Whisk together with 1 cup of the olive oil, and let it marinate for at least one hour, overnight is best.
To make the dressing:
Take the remaining shallots and add to it one clove minced garlic, zest of two lemons, juice of three lemons, three Tbsp. of mayo. Whisk together and taste for needed salt and pepper. This can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate for up to three days.
For the apples:
I like to make match stick size apple slices for this salad, however if you do not have a mandolin it might be a challenge. I would suggest a small thin slice if this is the case. Slice just before making the salad. If you need to slice them ahead of time be sure to hold the sliced apples in water with a little bit of lemon juice in it to prevent browning.
To assemble the salad:
In a large bowl place your lettuce and crab meat. I like to leave the crab in large chunks to help keep the texture, but it can be broken up as well. Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and gently toss together. Add the apples and toss gently once more just to mix together.
Place equal amounts of the salad onto 6 plates and drizzle about 1 tsp. of the Mustard oil around the plate. Garnish with cut cherry tomatoes or orange segments if you would like.