In many areas, crab season kicks off in late November. The milky-sweet meat is a treat when formed into little cakes and panfried. If you can resist eating them immediately on their own, a bed of tender butter lettuce and a drizzle of creamy lemon dressing are a match made in heaven.
Crab Cake & Butter Lettuce Salad
2 large eggs
1 Tbs. plus 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) mayonnaise
1 lb. (500 g.) cooked crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments and squeezed to remove excess water
1/2 cup (1 oz./30 g.) fresh fine white bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 green onions, including tender green parts, finely chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
In a bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Add the 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, the crab, bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and green onions. Stir with a fork until well mixed. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and gently form each portion into a small patty.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/3 cup mayonnaise, the mustard, lemon juice and 1/3 teaspoon pepper until smooth.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Working in batches if needed, add the crab cakes and cook without moving them until golden brown on the first side, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on the second side, 3-4 minutes. Arrange the lettuce on plates and place the crab cakes on top. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. Serves 4.
Find more creative and colorful salads in our cookbook Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan.