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Crab crostini with maple-mustard vinaigrette


Special to The Washington Post



The lightly dressed crab shines in this pretty appetizer, which is finished with a tangle of mixed greens and small local or cherry tomatoes. 


You'll have leftover vinaigrette, which can be used to dress any fresh greens. This dish is adapted from a recipe by Mark Salter, chef-owner of the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford, Md. 








Makes 4 servings 




For the crab salad: 


1/4 cup mayonnaise 


1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 


2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 


1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 


1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard, preferably Colman's 


8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage 


11/2 tablespoons diced yellow bell pepper 


11/2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and light-green parts 




For the vinaigrette: 


1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard 


4 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard 


2 teaspoons sherry vinegar 


1/4 cup maple syrup 


1/4 cup light olive oil 


For assembly 


1 mini baguette (about 8 inches) 


1 tablespoon olive oil 




Freshly ground black pepper 


2 cups mesclun or spring mix 


3 large small local tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, cut in half 




  • For the crab salad: Combine the mayonnaise, Old Bay, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, powdered mustard, crabmeat, bell pepper and scallions in a medium bowl; fold together carefully, trying not to break up the lumps of crab. Cover and refrigerate to chill slightly. 


  • For the vinaigrette: Combine the mustards, vinegar and syrup in a medium bowl. Slowly add the light olive oil, whisking continuously until the dressing has emulsified. The yield is about 3/4 cup. 


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 


  • Cut 12 slices from the baguette that are a scant 1/2-inch thick. Brush or drizzle them with the oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until crisp. They may be slightly browned on the edges. Allow them to cool. 


  • Toss the mesclun with about 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette in a small bowl. Pile 1/2 cup of the dressed greens on each plate. 


  • Spoon the crab salad onto the crostini; arrange 3 crostini on each plate, surrounding the salad. Add 3 tomato halves to each serving and season lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little of the vinaigrette and serve.



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