When eating alone I know how easy it is to grab something standing up in the kitchen, crouched down at the coffee table in front of the TV or bent over the computer keyboard. Heck, even if you aren't eating alone I know that its sometimes easy to do that after a long day. But I think taking the time and care to feed yourself with the hospitality and nurturing that you reserve for guests or spouses, is important. I won't say I do this every night, but most nights I set the table as I would if DG was with me, keyword being "table", not chair, counter, or floor. I fold a napkin, use nice serving ware and pour a glass of wine before I sit down for dinner. It feels incredibly civilized, calming and enjoyable and in many ways combats those pangs of loneliness one feels when eating alone night after night.
Crab with Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
The vinaigrette makes more than you'll need, but can be stashed in the fridge for future salads. 2 meal salads or 4 side salads
1 head frisee, washed, dried and coarsely ripped
2 pink grapefruit, segmented, juice reserved
1 avocado, sliced
1/4-1/2 pound lump crab meat
1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 lemon, zested
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp grapefruit juice
1 tsp finely minced shallot
1 tsp dijon mustard
8 Tbsp fruity olive oil
white pepper and salt to taste
Making the vinaigrette:
Whisk together the vinegar, juice, shallot, salt and pepper and mustard. Then whisk in olive oil. This vinaigrette does not need to be completely emulsified. Taste. It should be barely salty enough, under salting is best for now. Add more olive oil if it seems too tart, or more juice if it needs it. You want a bright vinaigrette with lots of acidity.
For the salad:
Toss frisee very lightly in dressing and make a bed of it on plate. No more than 2 Tbsp will be necessary.
Toss crab meat in a few Tablespoons of dressing in a separate bowl, tasting and adding more as necessary. Be careful not to add too much. You want the freshness of the crab to be preserved but enough vinaigrette to accent it. Add parsley and lemon zest.
Toss avocado in some of the reserved grapefruit juice.
Lay grapefruit slices and avocado nicely on the outer rim of frisee, alternating. Mound the crab meat in the centre of the salad. Drizzle a little extra grapefruit juice over the entire thing, as well as one last drizzle of vinaigrette. A sprinkle of fleur de sel (I used a fleur de sel with seaweed from Brittany) is a nice touch for crunch and added seasoning.