Mediterranean Winter Salad with Creme Fraiche Meyer Lemon Dressing

I dislike the day after Christmas. The hustle, bustle, and excitement of Christmas week is over and I am exhausted, yet I don’t want it to end. My husband helped start off the day on a good note by making me a cup of Crio Brü, a brewed chocolate drink that I got for Christmas. The package claims it is loaded with antioxidants and a natural appetite suppressant – perfect for post holiday recovery! I added a bit of sugar and cream to make it rich and delicious. I recommend it.

I then indulged in my paper fetish and ran out to stock up on discounted Christmas wrapping paper, bags, and tags for next year. Now I can add it to the 15 unopened rolls from last year’s post-Christmas sale. I also stopped at Williams-Sonoma to pick up any remaining copper kitchen Christmas ornaments on sale. Every year I buy one or two to add to my collection. Next year I plan to put a little tree in the kitchen to display them all.

I came home, my husband built a roaring fire in the family room, and I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. I re-read my Canal House cookbooks and found myself longing for the simpler lifestyle of authors Hamilton and Hirsheimer. As a teenager I often drove the back roads from Princeton to Lambertville, New Jersey, the town where Canal House studio is located. It was one of my favorite drives. There are some charming towns along that stretch of the Delaware River. My first date with my husband was to New Hope, Pennsylvania, just across the river. When I finished the reading I was so inspired that, in spite of all the Christmas baking, I wanted to get back into the kitchen and whip up something light for dinner. I came up with this simple flavorful salad with things I had in the refrigerator. You could substitute shrimp or lobster for the crab. You could also add red onions, fennel, or scallions and potatoes to make it more substantial. The dressing is good enough to drink!

Mediterranean Winter Salad with Creme Fraiche Meyer Lemon Dressing
3 c. torn Romaine lettuce
4-5 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 c. fresh crab meat
generous sprinkling of zatar

Creme Fraiche Meyer Lemon Dressing
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. creme fraiche
zest and juice of half a Meyer lemon
1/2 tsp. brown rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. rinsed and drained capers
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine lettuce, crab, and eggs in a serving bowl. For the dressing mix olive oil and creme fraiche. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth and creamy like mayonnaise. Spoon dressing over salad, then sprinkle with zatar. Serves 2-4.


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