It’s crab season here in the Puget Sound area. Summer fun on the water means watching for wildlife, enjoying the view and catching a few crabs along the way. Dungeness crab is tender, delicate and somewhat sweet in flavor. My daughter says that Dungeness crab is best served freshly cooked with melted butter. Simple and delicious!
However, on this day, I was looking for something a little different. I paired the crab with cooked bay shrimp, a wide variety of veggies, eggs, walnuts and bleu cheese. One of the best things about crab is it can be served freshly cooked hot or chilled and served cold in salads later. The dressing for this salad is inspired by one found at Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant that they refer to as “Hat Island Dressing.”
I made a couple minor changes, based on the fresh herbs I had available in my garden. In this recipe, I chose to use fresh French thyme and scallions.
Fresh herbs that pair well with seafood and crab include French thyme, tarragon, chives, parsley, dill and scallions.
After we dropped a few crab pots (circular steel traps), we toured around Hat Island which is a small private island near Whidbey Island. It consists only of private homes and cottages. Our crabbing adventure was exciting, educational and fun for everyone. Dungeness crab is a purple-ish grey-ish color. Once it is cooked, the shell turns a bright red color. Only male crabs that are at least 6 1/4 inches wide can be kept. The family-time spent outside in this beautiful area was worth the effort to catch, cook, then shell our own crabs.
In case you’re wondering, crab does freeze well. Cook and clean the crab prior to freezing it. It can be frozen in the shell or shelled and just the meat frozen. I like to have packets of both in our freezer for different meals. I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s certainly a special treat. Happy crabbing! And happy eating!
Recommended items for this recipe:
- 2 scallions
- 2 tbsp Italian parsley finely chopped
- 2 tsps fresh French thyme finely chopped
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3-4 oz dungeness crab meat cooked
- 3 oz bay shrimp cooked
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half or quarters
- 1 cup English cucumber sliced and quartered
- 1/2 cup carrots cut into long thin strips with a vegetable peeler
- 1 avacado sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs sliced
- 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup bleu cheese
- fresh ground pepper to taste
In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and stir. Chill the dressing for approximately 30 minutes prior to use. This allows the flavors to meld.
Gather, cut, chop all the salad ingredients and set aside.
Combine all the vegetables and the leafy greens in a large salad bowl. Gently toss with a desired amount of dressing. Then add remaining ingredients and gently toss. You can use your hands for this delicate process. Plate each salad and top with freshly ground black pepper to taste.