sweet corn and crab salad
It was 97 degrees here this weekend. I’m not joking. Perspiration dappled the bridge of my nose and a slick sheen was visible on my brow, neck and arms as Scott and I wandered
in delirium from the heat through the streets of Key West on Saturday.
The weather man said we broke records. I believe it. I know summer comes early to South Florida, but this wasn’t just June or July heat – no! This was full-blown mid-August suffering. Stifling. Suffocating.
On days like this — and you know they’re coming for you too — cooking is out of the question. Hell, chewing is practically exercise, right? Well, this sweet corn and crab salad is ideal when the mercury rises. The veg is chopped so fine — you barely have to move your jaw at all.
And it’s best served chilled. Refreshing and light, this salad is not weighed down by a heavy mayonnaise dressing. In fact, I think this could be the ultimate picnic food.
Ice it down in a cooler with your favorite beverages (I recommend sparkling water, fizzy beer, and a crisp sauvignon blanc) as well as some avocado and mango slices to mound the crab on when plating. Serve with store bought tortilla chips, crostini or chunks of french bread to round out your meal. OMG — so good!
Sweet corn and crab salad will be a standout at your next gathering — whether it’s at the beach, on the boat or by the pool!
- 2 ears of corn on the cob, shucked, silk discarded
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1/2 - 1 whole jalapeño (depending on your preference), seeded and minced
- 1 pound crab meat, picked over to remove any cartilage.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon coarse grain dijon mustard
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon white wine or rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- Using a sharp knife or corn kernel remover, cut the kernels from both ears of corn into a large bowl. Add the bell pepper, scallions and jalapeño. Toss to combine. Add the crab and toss to combine.
- In a small bowl add the garlic, mustard, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, olive oil, pepper, salt and fresh herbs. Whisk until combined.
- Pour dressing over the crab mixture and toss until salad is well dressed. Serve.
- For an entree: Serve on a bed of lettuce or in lettuce cups. Use it to fill a pineapple boat, half an avocado or pita pocket. It would be light and summery over sliced mango wedges or hearty piled on a soft kaiser roll with lettuce and tomato.
- For an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre: hollow out cherry tomatoes and stuff with crab salad. Toast or grill 1" thick slices of a baguette or sourdough and pile crab salad on top for crab bruschetta.
- Serves 4 as a main course or 6-8 as an hors d'oeuvre or appetizer.