Dungeness crab salad with radish, fennel and Meyer lemon

The seaon for fresh Pacific Coast Dungeness crab opens in December. Although non-commercial crabbers crab year round, and frozen crab is nearly always available, the fresh commercial season runs between December and March, during which time the bulk of the harvest is brought in. See Sourcing

When the first-picked crabs of the season come to market, I prefer not to cook the meat again, because it is sweet and moist, and shines in simple preparations like salads and crab cocktail. However, as the season continues and the price of crab begins to drop, I find myself using the meat more frequently in crab cakes, stews, and pasta fillings.

If you'd told me that Meyer lemons would be growing in Oregon twenty years ago, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. But it has happened, and now I can find the floral lemons locally, from Groundwork Organics. Their scent makes it a bit easier to embrace December and the encroaching darkness!  Meyer lemons are grown locally in covered, heated hoop houses, which encourage them to flourish in the cold and wet of Pacific Northwest winters. 

I recently discovered a new mustard made in Seattle by Mustard and Co .  It's especially good in this  salad dressing. Take a peek at their product line. 

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients

1 medium fennel bulb, peeled and thinly sliced (See Techniques)

3 small radishes, any variety, thinly sliced (I used watermelon radishes in the salad to the right.) 

12 Brussels sprouts, cut in half and leaves separated

12 to 16 leaves radicchio or other bitter winter greens such as chicory, endive or friseé

Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below) 

2 Meyer lemons, segmented and juiced (See Techniques)

8 ounces Dungeness or other crab meat,  cleaned

 

Procedure

Place the fennel and radish slices, Brussels sprouts and lettuce leaves in a bowl.  Add the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt.  Toss the ingredients gently before dividing between 4 plates, or arranging on a platter.  Place the crab meat and lemon segments on top of the salad and finish with freshly ground black pepper.

 

Mustard Vinaigrette

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, preferably Mustard and Co. Golden Dijon

Juice from segmented Meyer lemons

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the oil, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together. Season to taste with additional lemon juice, if needed, and salt and pepper.