Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, unless you’re talking crab
A single internet search retrieves pages of chilled seafood salads. Click any link and a series of mouthwatering photos appear. But once you scroll down, a quick scan of the recipe reveals one sneaky ingredient most share in common: imitation crab. Womp womp.
Luckily, we call the Gulf Coast home, where real, fresh blue crab is abundant. This seafood salad combines fresh sweet crab meat and plump shrimp with a creamy dressing punched up with spicy horseradish and cayenne pepper. It’s a perfect start to a spring meal or serve it alongside a sleeve of crackers for a casual lunch.
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup horseradish
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped chives
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
1 large shallot, minced
2 teaspoons capers
4 small radishes, finely diced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 heaping cups arugula
1½ teaspoon salt
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook the shrimp until pink, about 2 minutes. Empty the pot into a colander placed in your sink. Cut the shrimp into ½-inch pieces placing them into a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the mustard, horseradish, 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the chives, 1½ teaspoons of salt, the cayenne and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
Add the crabmeat to the bowl of shrimp, and gently toss with the shallot, capers, radishes and tomatoes. Fold in the dressing to taste, reserving any extra for another use. Season the crab mixture with salt, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Before serving, whisk together the remaining lemon juice and the olive oil along with salt and pepper in a small measuring cup or glass. Add the arugula to a bowl and toss with dressing.
Divide the greens among 6 plates and top with the seafood mixture. Serve immediately.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.