Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Crab and Spinach Salad

Artificial crab is one of the world’s wonders. Made with pollock or whiting, crab flavoring, and a touch of food coloring, it tastes delicious, is low in fat and cholesterol, and has many uses in which it is far superior to genuine crab. 

The delicate flavor and texture of crab shines on the shell and in crab cakes, quiche, or tartsThe hefty price of the real deal means that you don’t want its flavor and texture lost, as happens with dishes that offer complex flavors and several ingredients. 

I wouldn’t consider using real crab in this excellent salad. The sturdier texture and marvellous taste of the artificial product are the perfect match for this dish. Buy the kind that comes in a block, slicing or “flaking” it into pieces. Even a small package produces a huge amount, making it more economical than you might guess. 

I absolutely adore this salad. Its economy, size, and ease of preparation make it an ideal contribution for a potluck. It’s also a great first course for a formal or family dinner, particularly if the main course is seafood.

I’ve modified this recipe from one on the Clover Leaf brand’s website. Clover Leaf’s long and extremely interesting history offers more twists and turns than a soap opera. Having given the brand its rightful due, Ill add that any quality brand of artificial crab sold in your corner of the world will do very nicely, thank you.

Crab and Spinach Salad:

8 c. fresh baby spinach, stemmed
One 8-oz. (227 g) pkg “flake style” artificial crab
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
¼ c. frozen peas, uncooked
4 green onions, thinly sliced
½ c. plain, natural yogurt
½ c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. dried dill weed (or 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. coarsely ground pepper

Steam and cool spinach, squeezing out all moisture. Slice spinach lengthwise and cross wise, separating “clumps” with knife. Slice or “flake” crab into medium bowl. Add spinach, celery, peas, and onions. In separate bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, and seasoning. Stir just enough dressing into crab mixture to moisten and hold together. Cover and chill at least 30 min., or until needed. Makes 4 main course servings or 8 side servings.

Stem baby spinach

Steam about 3 min., until limp

Cool, squeeze and blot dry, slice

Take a block of artificial crab ...

Sliver it

Slice celery thinly

Dress and chill, transferring to salad bowl when needed

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