dungeness crab, baby artichoke, and preserved meyer lemon panzanella salad

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A few weekends ago, Matt and I took Layla over the Golden Gate Bridge to go hiking on Mount Tamalpais {or Mt. Tam as it is affectionately known}.  It was absolutely stunning – we parked the car along a ridge perched above the sea, with green, lush hills sloping upwards to the east, ready for exploration.  On this particular day, we chose a trail that meandered alongside a creek, all the way through a ravine until it broke into a waterfall.  I am such a homebody that sometimes Matt has to really twist my arm to get me out to get some fresh air, but whenever I do, I realize how completely restorative it is, and how lucky I am to live in such an aesthetically beautiful place.

After our hike, we drove around the town of Mill Valley in search of something – we didn’t know quite what – for dinner.  We happened down a street that looked like it would lead to a residential area, but then, quite literally, stumbled upon Mill Valley Beerworks.  It was beautifully designed – a “modern apothecary” sort of vibe, with subway tiles, a long, concrete bar with dark brown vintage jugs of water, and over 20 beers on tap.  Most of the food was served tapas style – little bits and bobs meant for sharing.  The dish that I remember most fondly {and which I was most excited to eat} was a lovely Dungeness crab salad with preserved Meyer lemon, baby artichokes, chili and croutons.  Heavenly.  I immediately knew I had to try to recreate it at home.

The salad really couldn’t be simpler.  The preserved Meyer lemons elevated this salad and gave it an acidity that balanced out the sweetness of the crab and the kick of the chili.  You can of course find preserved Meyer lemons at speciality food stores or you can preserve your own quite easily {simple tutorial to be posted shortly}.  Other than boiling the baby artichokes {which, unlike their large cousins, can be eaten whole} and toasting the chards of bread, this salad is really about assembly.  The flavors are so light and fresh – the perfect salad for a spring evening.

Recipe continued after the jump>>>

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Recipe

Serves 2

  • 1/2 baguette
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 baby artichokes
  • 1 preserved Meyer lemon, julienned
  • 1 whole regular or Meyer lemon {not preserved}
  • 1/2 pound fresh Dungeness crab meat {you can substitute any other crab you prefer}
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves {picked from stems}
  • Red chili flakes, to taste
  • Fresh chives, minced {if desired}

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Tear baguette roughly into bite sized pieces and place on large baking sheet.  Drizzle about 1/4 c. of olive oil over bread pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.  Toss pieces of bread in oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.  Place in oven and cook until browned and crunchy, between 8 to 15 minutes {watching carefully so the croutons don’t burn}.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and add 1 tablespoon salt.  Rinse artichokes and remove tough outer leaves and tough part of stem using a paring knife.  Cut sharp tips of leaves with kitchen scissors.  Cut lemon {not the preserved one} into wedges.  Cut artichokes into quarters, and immediately rub each quarter with the lemon wedge.  Once the water comes to a oil, add cleaned artichokes and lemon wedges {reserving three wedges} and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.  Once cooked to desired tenderness, drain artichokes in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Discard lemon wedges.

Rinse crabmeat, being careful to leave the large chunks intact.

In large serving platter, mix 1/4 c. olive oil, lemon juice {squeezed from remaining 3 lemon wedges}, red chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.  Add crab meat, artichokes, Meyer lemon and croutons and toss gently to coat all ingredients evenly.  Sprinkle with fresh chives and serve.

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23 Responses to dungeness crab, baby artichoke, and preserved meyer lemon panzanella salad

  1. Beautiful and a very creative take on panzanella, looking forward to the post on the preserved lemons.

  2. That looks and sounds delicious!

  3. chef mimi says:

    What a perfect beautiful salad!

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    Gorgeous pics again, and I love the sound of this salad!

  5. Panzanella – another great memory of Tuscany! Looks a lovely balanced and flavoured salad. I bet the walk was well worth it!

  6. What a lovely day out hiking.. topped with a wonderful recipe.. this looks excellent!

  7. smileycook says:

    You have made sooo many different delicious recipes! You are such an inspiration!

  8. yum yum..i always pick out all the bread and eat it first…such a carb junkie, but i love your play on this salad..i bet the crab is just wonderful… lovely post..sarah

  9. Mt. Tam sounds wonderful, Lindsay! What a lovely picture you painted of the day. And this salad, gorgeous (as always) and you wouldn’t think that bread would rock in a salad, but it does! Panzanella, music to my ears. Major “grazie mille” to those Italians who know a thing or two about food, right? Great post as always, Lindsay; can’t wait to see what you cook up next =) xo

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Absolutely – grazie mille to the Italians who are completely genuises {genui?} when it comes to being creative with simple, inexpensive ingredients, and not letting anything go to waste. I fell in love with this style of cooking. Thanks for your sweet post Christina! xo

  10. Claire D says:

    It is too close to lunch time to read a post such as this – looks so good! I have not made a panzanella salad in years – time to do so and this is the recipe to try. Great post!

  11. Reblogged this on Haute Mom Living and commented:
    sincerely amazing , both the photography and taste! I remade for my hubby and he actually enjoyed

  12. Helena says:

    This salad just looks and sounds fantastic ! I love artichoke and preserved lemons and all those flavours should perfectly go together. I’m happy that spring is finally here to give this a try… Your pictures are simply beautiful (by the way, “bravo” for the new look of your blog 🙂 ).

  13. Pingback: how to preserve lemons | { fleur de sel }

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