serves: makes 6 servings
Traditionally the spiny crab found in the Adriatic is used to make this salad, but King crab is quite available and makes a delicious substitute. The meat from Dungeness or blue claw crabs are also a good substitute but require work in retrieving the meat. There is also the fresh jumbo lump crab meat sold in containers by your fish monger which is the easiest, but also the most expensive. These quantities are for appetizers; double for main course.
1 small onion, cut into quarters
2 stalks celery , cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, sliced 1/2-inch
2 bay leaves
2 pounds King crab legs, defrosted if frozen
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
6 ounces baby arugula, approximately 6 ounces
12 grapefruit segments, cleaned of membrane
12 blood orange segments, cleaned of membrane
freshly ground black pepper
Choose a pot large enough to hold the crab legs about 3 inches from the top with water. Bring to a boil, add the onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaves and boil for 15 minutes. Add crab legs and cook 5 minutes. Remove the crab and let cool. Discard the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon and orange juice and salt to taste. When the dressing is golden yellow and emulsified, whisk in the parsley.
With sturdy kitchen scissors, cut the crab legs between their joints and pull out the meat with a cocktail fork or skewer. Cut each leg segment open with the kitchen shears if you have difficulty removing the meat from the shell. Cut crabmeat into 2-inch pieces, removing any cartilage as you go.
Divide the crabmeat evenly and place in a small mound in the center of six salad plates. Place a cluster of lettuce leaves next to each. Arrange the grapefruit and orange segments decoratively around the crabmeat. Grind some fresh pepper and drizzle some citrus dressing over the crabmeat and salad leaves and serve.
Note: To remove the grapefruit and orange segments, cut away all the peel and white pith from the fruits with a small sharp knife. Hold the fruit over a bowl and with the same knife, cut along each membrane to free the citrus segment, allowing the juice to drip into the bowl. Reserve some of the orange juice for the recipe and the rest as a reward for the cook.