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Posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 8:47 a.m.

Quick & Easy Crab Salad on Ficelle Crostini is light, fresh and full of flavor

By Peggy Lampman


Quick and Easy Crab Salad Crostini

Peggy Lampman | Contributor

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Last week a friend hosted a mid-week Happy Hour party at her home. Most brought an appetizer, which takes some of the burden off the host at informal gatherings — it's enough to get your house ready for guests, much less make a variety of appetizers.


Ficelle are like super-skinny baguettes.

I didn't have time to fuss with an elaborate recipe, but I did have a couple of hours for the salad to stew in the vinaigrette before assembly. And I always make my own crostini; it can be as simple as slicing bread, brushing it with oil, then toasting it in the oven.

The nice thing about this salad is it's not filled with heavy fats such as sour cream and gooey cheese — often found in crabcentric appetizers. It's light, flavorful and fresh, and would also be delicious served in a pitted avocado.

The only thing that takes much time in the following recipe is the marinating of the salad, which can be anywhere from one to 24 hours. You could make the salad separate and serve crackers on the side, but if you've the time, assemble the crostini for your guests; it's easier for them to grab, especially when holding a glass of wine. If I were serving the salad in a bowl, I'd chop capers and toss with the salad instead of using them as a garnish. I wish I'd thought to dice a red or orange bell pepper; the salad could have used additional color.

Today I purchased a ficelle from Whole Foods to make the crostini. Ficelle (pronounced fee-sel) are like baguettes, only much thinner, and the Eisenhower Whole Foods usually stocks 2 or 3 different flavor-enhanced types. I think they make great crostini, but keep in mind your crostini will be smaller.

Yield: 2 dozen crostini
Active Time: 20 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 - 24 hours


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice (zest the lemon prior to squeezing juice for optional garnish)
2 tablespoons white sugar
Scant teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, optional
1 1/2-2 cups lump or backfin crabmeat*
1 small white onion, thinly sliced into rings, then the rings cut in half
1 recipe for crostini or store-purchased crostini 


*Best product usually found in refrigerated sections of seafood departments.


1. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, lemon juice, sugar, thyme and parsley, if using. Stir in crabmeat and onion.
2. Let marinate, refrigerated, at least one hour and up to 24. While salad is marinating, make crostini.
3. Top each crostini with crab salad and garnish each with 2-3 capers and lemon zest, if using.

Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Grocery section of You may also e-mail her at



Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

What is the asterisk after the crab for? I didn't find it below the recipe. Thanks--

Peggy Lampman

Tue, Jan 29, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Where to find it - Thanks, Jeanette - just made the addition! Peggy

Jessica Webster

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

Mmmm. Sounds (and looks) delicious, Peggy!

Peggy Lampman

Tue, Jan 29, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

Thanks Jessica - I esp. love the fact the crab's not burdened with the expected creamy mayos, sour creams, etc. Peggy