Thursday, February 23, 2012

California Crab Salad [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy
Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 2

The first night of a recent visit to LA, Matt took us to Froma on Melrose, a hip little wine and cheese shop with a few scattered tables and a surprisingly deep menu of crostinis, salads, pizzas and paninis.

I just wanted something fresh. And light, after a day of bad airplane food (purchased, no less!) and unsatisfying snacks.

Their crab salad, paired with a glass of sparkling wine, was the exact balance of bitter, sweet and tang that I craved. It makes for a sunny departure from the heartier soups and stews of February, and screams California from the get-go.

California Crab Salad

1 8-ounce container jumbo lump crabmeat
Baby arugula
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 avocado, peeled and sliced into super-thin strips
1 endive, sliced into thin strips
1/2 jalapeno, diced into tiny bits
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
Citrus vinaigrette to taste

Citrus Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup orange juice (I used blood oranges for their beautiful red color and sliced a few for the plate)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon ponzu (Optional. Can just use little more soy sauce if you don't have ponzu. [Wait. You don't have ponzu? What's wrong with you?])
Soy sauce to taste
1 tablespoon mayo

Whisk the mustard and soy sauce into the orange juice. Slowly add the olive oil. Then add the mayo. Whisk to combine. Gently mix a small amount into the crab meat (don't break up those gorgeous lumps of crab!!) and drizzle a little over the rest of the plated salad.

Suggested soundtrack: Diana Krall's "Look of Love"

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