I’m a firm believer in working smart, not harder, in the kitchen. This salad requires minimum prep and I buy our favorite crab cakes from the market. We prefer Charleston-style crab cakes versus Maryland crab cakes, but both work with this entree salad. If you’re feeling it, make your own crab cakes. More power to ya! Bought or made, they are a perfect compliment to this dish.
There are several different tastes and textures layered in this meal. Sweet, savory and salty work cohesively to give this salad a big, flavorful personality. There is also plenty of crunch in the carrots, Brussels, pepper, sugar snap peas, walnuts and pepitas which contrast this salad’s softer side of tomatoes, pickled onion, cucumbers and blue cheese.
Added proteins of nuts, pepitas and blue cheese elevate this meal from filling to downright hearty.
The dressing is my bruschetta dressing. Super light and summery but full of flavor. Works great as a dip for veggies, or don’t blend it and voila! You have bruschetta ready for a sliced baguette.
Enjoy the fresh flavors of the season with this summer dish!
Crab cakes –
8 store bought or homemade crab cakes
2T grapeseed oil
1 lemon; juiced
5oz baby kale
5oz spring mix lettuce
½# Brussel sprouts; thinly sliced
1 cucumber; quartered and chopped
8oz fresh sugar snap peas; chopped
1c pickled red onion; thinly sliced
1 yellow female* pepper; diced
1pint grape or cherry tomatoes; halved
1c carrots; thinly sliced (I like rainbow carrots for color)
1c walnuts; pieces
1c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
4oz blue cheese crumbles
1c cranberries (50% less sugar)
4 cloves garlic; minced
6 Roma tomatoes; diced
1 large bunch fresh basil; chopped
1/4c balsamic vinegar
1/4c extra virgin olive oil
1. Prepare dressing by adding all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined. Chill until ready to use.
2. In a skillet on medium heat, heat grapeseed oil. Add crab cakes and pour lemon juice on top. Flip halfway through cooking (according to package directions or recipe). Or air fry at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
3. While the crab cakes are cooking, plate salads by dividing prepped ingredients into fourths and layering them in order listed above.
4. Drizzle dressing over salad. Top with crab cakes. Serve immediately.
*Note – use a female pepper because they are sweeter and better for eating raw. Male peppers are better for cooking. Female peppers have 4 bumps on the bottom. Male peppers have 3 bumps. You can taste the difference! 😊