Today is my birthday. It’s become that dreaded day because weeks earlier, you are on the lookout for any new gray hairs or the newly formed wrinkle that will confirm that you are indeed getting old. But despite the dreaded aging process, I have come to view birthdays differently. A birthday evolution you may call it. Sure, birthdays started changing once you became a responsible adult, you would treat your close friends to a nice dinner vs. them taking you out. But for me, my birthday has become something that gives me the opportunity to reflect on my life. Perhaps I could use a little more yoga and a little less bad tv in my life… but that’s an every day revelation. The biggest thing is thinking about the people in your life that make each day pretty special.
Clearly, cooking is a great pleasure of mine and so I decided that for this birthday, I wanted to share that joy by cooking for friends for my birthday celebration. Most thought I was crazy for suggesting it. But cooking for friends and family really does bring me great joy… when it’s on my terms. Possibly because I am a people-pleaser and it’s something I can do that brings happiness to everyone… wait, people whose company I truly enjoy. That is until I see the dishes that need to be cleaned. Then I wonder, man, I really like these chumps. Kidding. That and the fact that I always think how a ridiculous restaurant tab that feeds two gluttonous people can also deliciously feed 10 friends. But aside from that, I have come to that age where you realize that good friends don’t easily come and go as they once did. Man, old age does make one more sentimental. So for me, I don’t need fancy gifts or restaurants, just some decent seats and clean plates to welcome good company and yummy eats.
I wanted to share a recipe that is pretty simple (the crab meat retrieving can be laborious) yet divine. And hope you can share it with some friends at your next dining table. This salad is an excellent way to celebrate (your hard work in getting the meat from) a crab because it is light and lends flavors that complement the crab.
- 1 whole crab, steamed with meat removed
- 1 head of bibb lettuce, washed and dried
- 1 Haas avocado, medium, sliced
- 1 lemon, halved
- Salt and pepper
- 1 head of shallot, about thumb size
- 4-5 stalks of chives
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Be sure the lettuce is thoroughly dried so it won’t dilute the dressing or flavors from the crab. In a small bowl, gently combine the crab and avocado. Juice the lemon over it, and set aside. To make the dressing, it’s ideal to use a blender but can be made without one. Blend or mix in a bowl, all the ingredients for the dressing. If you do it by hand, just be sure to mince the shallots and chives. Tear the bibb lettuce leaves into large bite sizes, I actually like to keep my bibb greens on the larger side. Toss the salad with the dressing, making sure not to drench the greens. Then top with the crab and avocado mixture and season with salt and pepper.