I know, this all sounds pretty exotic, right? Well, not really. Readily available ingredients and basic equipment is all you need, and about 30 minutes to whip up something that seems pretty impressive. Hey, if I could do it in 20 minutes including taking a bunch of pictures, surely you can do it in 30!
|Crab Arugula Salad|
To begin, make the dressing first:
|dressing ingredients and equipment|
I used to just buy the cheap machines and treat them as semi-disposable. I would use them for a few years until they broke or the blade was too dull to cut and then I would buy a new one. Then I finally realized if I bought a good one it wasn't that much more expensive and it would last a lot longer. I have the basic medium-sized Cuisinart model, which comes with a general purpose top, and a chopping top and blades. Pictured here is the general purpose top.
The Cuisinart food processor has a tiny cup/stopper that goes in the center hole of the lid to prevent stuff from flying out, and it also has a nifty feature which I will use when preparing the dressing, which is essentially homemade mayonnaise using lime instead of lemon.
|Cuisinart Food Processor lid cap|
See the little lid with tiny hole in the center? The hole is the perfect size for adding the oil at the ideal rate for making mayonnaise. I will explain more as we move along.
|how to separate an egg|
|adding the oil with machine running|
Now, put the little cup (if you have one) onto the lid and begin filling it with 2/3 cup vegetable oil. Just keep refilling it as it runs out into the bowl of the processor. If you don't have this feature, just pour it VERY slowly through the opening in the lid.
See how slowly I mean by checking out the picture here:
|a very slow trickle of oil into the mix is critical|
Once you have added all the oil, you will have a nice thick white-ish mayonnaise. I'm using this as the main dressing for the salad. You could easily double the recipe and keep half of it in the refrigerator for a week or so to use on sandwiches and such. Won't your family be impressed?
|finished mayonnaise dressing|
|peeling the jicama|
Now to finish up, peel a small jicama (hick-uh-muh)- a brown bulb vegetable with texture and taste similar to raw potato or water chestnut. I like to peel it by cutting off both ends to a make flat surface for sitting on my cutting board, then I whack off the outer peel with my chef's knife. You could use a regular peeler or paring knife if you prefer.
|mixture of fresh arugula and baby spinach|
|16 oz can crabmeat in the refrigerated section of your market|
In a separate bowl mix 1 pound crab meat-I bought this 16 oz can in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe's for about $8. WOW! What a deal! Sure, you could use fresh crab, (are you rich?) or even use imitation crab if your budget is really tight, which makes this an affordable every-day option. In with the crab, I mix 2-3 green onions, sliced up (green AND white parts), 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, and all of the mayo dressing we made up above.
Here it is all mixed up with the dressing:
|dressed crab meat mixture|
Enjoy! (ingredient list follows)
16 oz crab meat
2-4 green onions, green and white parts, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 cups fresh arugula leaves (or combination of arugula and baby spinach)
juice of 1/2 lime (approx 2 tsp)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
juice of 1 lime (2 tbsp)
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
Preparation time: 30 minutes
can be made ahead, leave dressing off green leaves until ready to serve to prevent wilting. Hold in the refrigerator up to 2 days.