This salad simply calls to me. The moment I think of it, the cravings begin. It is light and flavorful… truly a treat.
I used to make a mayonnaise based dressing, but it was loaded with calories, and the texture lacked the desired creaminess. Substituting yogurt for most of the mayo was the perfect solution.
To dress it up for guests, serve it over a fan of lettuce and top with a sprinkle of angle sliced chives. Add your favorite crackers off to the side. We like water crackers… white or wheat.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/32 teaspoon celery seed
|Dressing: Whisk all together in a 3-quart bowl until perfectly smooth.
Tip: Cut a lemon in half at the equator, place cut sides down and quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch seeds
|Preparing the dressing early allows other ingredients to start absorbing flavor as they are added. The tiny addition of celery seed adds depth of flavor.|
|16 ounces imitation crab meat, flaked||Flaking is best done by hand. To flake, cut sticks on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces, then rub between your fingers to separate into 3-4 thick flakes. Fold into dressing with a silicone spatula.||Moderate flaking is attractive. I like imitation crab meat for this salad because the sturdiness of the flesh, and its attractive color.|
|6-12 cherry tomatoes (optional), quartered and seeded||Fold into dressing.||Cherry tomatoes add a pleasant acidity. Seeding minimizes salad discoloration.|
|1 cup diced red bell pepper||Fold into dressing.
Tip: Place pepper on end, slice off sides; remove any seeds or pale membrane still attached. Cut 1/2-inch slices; cut across slices to cube.
|Red bell pepper is added for its beautiful color and crunch. Orange, or yellow bell peppers are undesirable because they introduce too much color; green bell pepper lacks sweetness.|
|1/4 cup diced white onion||Fold into dressing.
Tip: With an onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole, peel off any dry or tough layers; discard. Place cut sides down and slice to 1/4 inch, holding the pieces together as you work. Cut across slices to dice.
|A little onion enhances flavor and adds nice texture, but more overwhelms the overall flavor of the salad.|
|2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño||Fold into dressing. Cover and chill 1-2 hours before serving.
Tip: For the jalapeños, wear hand protection. Place on end and slice off sides; remove seeds or membrane still attached. Cut 1/8-inch slices; cut across slices to finely dice.
|Hot pepper oils can burn skin, and the seeds are especially hot. Flat pieces are easy to dice.|