Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Seafood Luncheon Salad

When the weather heats up and you are looking for a cool, refreshing, satisfying lunch, turn to this classic summer salad.  With a slice of good bread, this makes for your entire meal.  And the presentation is pretty enough for guests, should they be so lucky to be invited to your luncheon table.

Julian's Seafood Dill Tomato Summer Salad
You may recall a similar dish made by your mother with canned tuna.  This updated version uses lump crab, shrimp and a good splash of dill, both of which will dispel any memories of your mother's version.

I cut the recipe in half for the photos shown here and used lump crab in a jar from my grocer's cooler.  It worked out just fine.   Keeping a bag of frozen cooked shrimp (50-70 count per pound) is always a good idea in the summer, as they can be used in many recipes or just as an appetizer.  Remember however they've already been cooked, so they cannot be used in the place of raw shrimp.

Ingredients (serves 4)
8 ounces cooked shrimp (cleaned, no tails, 50-70 count preferred)
8 ounces lump crabmeat (drained and picked clean of shells)
2 hard cooked egg (peeled and chopped)
2 medium celery stalks (about 1/2 cup), chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped (green/white separated. Save green for garnish)
4 teaspoons dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
1-2 teaspoons water

4 whole lettuce leaves (Boston lettuce preferred)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 large ripe tomatoes

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Click to Enlarge
Instructions
In a large bowl gently combine the first seven ingredients.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sour cream.  Thin the cream mixture with 1-2 teaspoons of water as needed to reach a thick dressing consistency.

Place a single lettuce leaf on each plate and drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  With the tomato upright on a cutting board, cut out the stem.  Cut the tomato into 6-8 wedges, without cutting all the way through to the bottom.  The tomato will lay open like a flower but still be connected.  Place a tomato on the lettuce leaf on each plate.

Spoon the mayonnaise mixture over the seafood mixture.  Gently toss to combine.  "Stuff" the center of the tomato with the seafood mixture.  Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper and salt.  Garnish with the green tops of the onions and serve.

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