We so often forget that a well made salad can serve as very good entrée, all on its own. I knew a salad could be an entrée, but I never wanted it as an entrée, that is until I experienced a certain potluck 11 years ago with a colleague. Mrs. Socorro was an amazing cook and, somehow, she ended up bringing a salad to the potluck (We all know that we want the best cooks to bring the heavy hitters). This salad wasn’t any kind of ordinary, though. It had corn, green beans and all kinds of goodies. She mentioned how, at her family gatherings, they would just pile on toppings of veggies. I thought “Why not?” I added a good heaping spoonful of cooked seasoned corn to my salad and I never turned back! Now when I make a salad into an entree, I add those same special ingredients. Homemade croutons are so delicious, with a crispy outside and semi soft center. And don’t forget the goat cheese, the sweet tomatoes and the avocado vinaigrette, either. It’s all packed with flavor. I know you’re gonna love it, and I hope it knocks you and your guests’ socks off.
Crab, Corn and Avocado Salad
1 Half loaf of French bread
2 Tablespoons of Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon of garlic, chopped
1 Bag of arugula and spinach-mixed salad
2 Cans of corn, rinsed and drained
1 Pound of crab meat (claw or lump)
½ Teaspoon of lemon juice
1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 package goat cheese crumbles
Extra virgin olive oil spray
Salt and pepper, to taste
Seafood seasoning, to taste
Vinaigrette of your choice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the French bread into small cubes and in place in a large mixing bowl.
3. Coat French bread cubes with extra virgin olive oil spray, sprinkle with garlic and Italian seasoning. Toss to mix well.
4. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking dish lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray again lightly with the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bake until golden and toasty, and then set aside.
6. Place crab meat in a bowl, breaking it up into bite sized pieces, and lightly season with the seafood seasoning of your preference and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, and set aside.
7. Slice the avocado in slices and season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
8. Sauté canned corn with a teaspoon of butter, and set aside.
9. To combine, place salad greens in a large serving bowl. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and the corn. Gently add crab meat and avocado. Garnish with goat cheese, to your taste, and top with croutons. Drizzle with vinaigrette or serve dressing on the side, per your taste.
Serves 2 cups of salad and 4 servings.
1. Pressed for time? Skip the saute step and add the corn after rinsing and draining from the can.
2. Got fresh corn? Use it fresh from the cob instead of canned.
3. Substitute grilled shrimp if you don’t have or don’t like crab meat.
4. A creamy vinaigrette or Caesar dressing will work well with this salad.