Navigating the waters of my new found food lifestyle has been relatively easy…for the most part. I’ve been eating at home more, that’s for sure. It’s kind of eye-opening to go to all your favorite places and have to really negotiate the menu to be able to eat – even when I was eating lots of veggies and such when dining out, I didn’t have to think about things having beef broth or chorizo in them. I’m happy to report that many places I’ve encountered are more than happy to work with my non-meat eating status…or at the very least be extremely helpful in finding something I can eat.
One thing that has been a real challenge is eating fewer carbs and starchy foods – it’s so easy to replace meat with empty carbs. I want to be eating lighter overall. In one of my rare moments that I’ve craved seafood – I’ve eaten in 3 times since the big switch – I headed to…a steakhouse. We’re seriously lacking amazing seafood restaurants here in town. I’m not sure how it is in your cities…but when I want seafood here in Atlanta, I tend to try out the steak places because they always have extremely fresh & great quality seafood for their trays of oysters, shrimp cocktails and seafood towers. Kevin Rathbun is a wonderful chef here in town…and at his eponymous steakhouse just a few minutes from me, I enjoyed this incredible salad with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
The flavors in this salad are so clean and clear that you really have no choice but to buy the absolute best of each ingredient. The version I had was made with imperial lump crab – if you can’t source it, using great quality jumbo lump crab is going to work just fine. This isn’t the time to scrimp – don’t go reaching for one of those cans of shelf stable crab meat or some krab with a K. I’m not sure how the vinaigrette at Rathbun Steak was made but I used a perfectly beautiful Meyer lemon in mine. It’s pretty glorious but Meyer lemons have been hard to come by here – a regular lemon will also do the trick. While this is a Pescatarian recipe, the base salad recipe here is great on its own and could easily be served as a vegetarian salad or side.
Crab & Asparagus Salad – serves 4 as a small starter
- Place asparagus on a cutting board on a flat work surface. Using a peeler, julienne the asparagus stalks to make a sort of slaw/salad – I found that holding it at one end and pressing down with the peeler in the other helped make more even shreds. Those pieces that are too thin to peel anymore can be julienned with a knife and added to the salad. You’re not looking for perfection here – some variations in size are perfectly fine. Repeat this with all of the asparagus and combine them in a large mixing bowl.
- In another small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice & olive oil. Drizzle that slowly over the shaved asparagus in the larger bowl – you just want to evenly coat the salad but it should not be swimming in dressing. Gently fold the lump crab meat into the asparagus mixture to coat them with the dressing & incorporate it into the salad – be careful not to break it up too much. Give this a taste here & season with salt and pepper to your liking. Right before serving, sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the salad. Serve immediately.