My husband and his mom have a birthday tradition. In lieu of presents, they go shopping and have lunch. When the husband and I got married, the tradition extended to me. You know what’s sad? Since having kids, that’s probably the only time I ever get new clothes for myself.
Several birthdays ago, my mother-in-law introduced me to a quaint little restaurant called Bon Ami. She raved about their vegetable lasagna and berry iced tea. On that day, I ordered the crab cakes salad and took her advice on the berry iced tea.
Unfortunately, Bon Ami has since closed. But the memory of that crab cakes salad made it one those dishes that lingered in my mind. Shortly after we shared lunch together, I came home and recreated the salad from memory.
I decided to update the recipe a bit, opting to dredge the crab cakes in cornmeal instead of bread crumbs. I loved the texture the cornmeal gives the cakes and I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to this recipe from now on.
The crab cakes are hearty enough that The Husband was able to get full with just this alone for dinner one night. Since the crab cakes are heavy, I didn’t want to weigh it down with a heavy cream-based dressing. The creamy garlic dressing is just thick to lend great flavor while not causing the crab cakes to become soggy.
Now, if I can find a copy cat recipe for that berry tea . . .
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 4 slices white or wheat bread
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups crab claw meat
- 1 green onion, chopped
- ½ cup dry cornmeal
- Oil for frying
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp, dry mustard
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 6-8 cups torn washed lettuce
- In a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper and celery and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a food processor, pulse bread until they become coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, mayonnaise, parsley, Worcestershire, seasoned salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Add bread crumbs and crab meat and stir until crumbs are well incorporated.
- Working with a golf ball size amount, roll patties between your palms then flatten to form a patty. Dredge patties in cornmeal. Line patties on a sheet tray and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime,heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Fry patties in batches until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refridgerate until ready to assemble salad.
- Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Arrange about two cups of salad greens on a plate. Place two crab cakes on top of the greens, Drizzle with creamy garlic dressing.