Saturday, May 5, 2018

Crab Salad with Lemon/Dill Vinaigrette #DerbyDay

Hello and Welcome to Derby Day.  Are you a fan of the Kentucky Derby?  Do you watch it on television?

I'm really kind of oblivious to it but when Ellen of Family Around the Table invited us to her party I jumped right in.  I'm always up for a party!!

Some people treat the Derby like the Superbowl. They have huge gatherings while they watch the race.  There are special drinks and foods that are always included.  I feel the same way about this as I do football.....Did someone say food?  Count me in!

I have watched movies about the Derby and have enjoyed them.  I have a niece who is a jockey and I hope one day to go to Kentucky and watch her compete in the Derby.  But until then I will just be in it for the food and company.

Last year for Derby Day I served up some Pickled Shrimp.  It was delicious.  I know that there are a ton of foods associated with Derby Day like Mint Juleps, Sweet Tea, Hot Browns, anything with Bourbon and Pimiento Cheese.

I wanted to make something that was a little different.  I found a whole party menu at Southern Living dedicated to the Kentucky Derby.  One of the recipes they shared was called Spring on a Plate Salad.

My recipe was inspired by that.  It contains Crab, Peas and Fennel, as the original. It does not have soy, red onion, red pepper or microgreens only because I didn't have any of those on hand.  My peas were frozen and not fresh and my greens were a baby spring mix. I also added some cucumber since I had it in the refrigerator.

I whipped together a lemon dill vinaigrette.  I never linked to the recipe provided because making vinaigrette is second nature to me.  I marinated my fennel and peas in the vinaigrette and then ladled these over my greens because I don't like a lot of dressing on my salad.  I prefer to dress it lightly and pass the dressing for those who like more.

Use the best crab that you can find and afford.  This claw crabmeat is a little more expensive but, after all, the crab is the star of this salad.

I made a platter of salad and passed it at the table instead of making individual salads.  I filled the platter with greens and sprinkled on the cucumber and carrots.  I used a spoon to ladle the marinated peas and fennel over the top.  The remaining vinaigrette went into a cruet for the table.

The crowning glory is the crab that is scattered along the top.  This was served as the first course for a family dinner.  It was a huge hit.  I'm sure your family and friends will love this addition to your Derby Day Feast.

You will find links to more wonderful Derby Day dishes following the recipe for this bright and flavorful Springtime Salad.

Yield: Serves 4-6 as a first course

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Crab Salad with Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

This bright and lovely Springtime salad topped with succulent crab claw meat is the perfect starter for your next dinner party.


5 c. mixed baby Spring greens
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 carrot, washed, scraped and thinly sliced
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
8 oz. crab claw meat, picked through for any shells
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T. fresh dill fronds, chopped


Whisk together the lemon, olive oil and dill.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the peas and fennel, tossing to coat.  Set aside.

Rinse and dry the greens and place them onto a platter.   Sprinkle with the carrots and cucumber.  Spoon the marinated peas and fennel down the center of the salad.  Strain the remaining vinaigrette into a serving container.

Top the salad with the crabmeat and serve, passing the vinaigrette.


This recipe adapted from Southern Living.
Created using The Recipes Generator

More Derby Day Dishes


  1. This is perfect for a Derby party! I'm so glad you joined us.

  2. This looks like the perfect salad for spring. Being in Maryland, we tend to either eat the crabs whole or turn the meat into crab cakes or soup, so I never think to do anything else with it, but I love this idea.

  3. I've never had crab, and I definitely need to change that. This sounds amazing!


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