Dungeness crab salad

This is probably the only crab salad that is not doused in mayo. I have done this many times over the years, and it is one of my all time favorites during the “r” months – i.e. when we have Dungeness crab in San Francisco – November through April (although it is best December through February).

serves: 4        difficulty: easy      prep time: 10-15 min


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 5-10 basil leaves
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1 lbs cooked Dungeness crab meat


First, you need to peel the tomato. The easiest way to do it is to boil some water, and put the tomato in the boiling water for about 10-15 seconds. That loosens the tomato skin, and makes it a lot easier to peel it. Take the tomato out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon, and put it under running cold water to chill. Peel the tomato, and seed it by cutting it in half and removing the seedy pulp from the middle.

Combine garlic, shallot, tomato, basil, oil and vinegar in a food processor and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the crab meet with about half of the dressing, and taste to see how moist the crab meet feels. If the salad still feels dry, add more dressing.

Serve with a slice of rye bread toast. With a circular form cut circles from the rye bread toast. Then use the same circular form to shape the salad on top of the disk of rye bread toast. Top with some edible flowers.

A simpler presentation would be this:

Or this: