- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 pinches of celery seeds, finely ground in a mortar and pestle
- 1 large rib of celery, halved lengthwise and sliced very thinly on the bias (3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon high-quality mayonnaise
- 8 ounces fresh (non-pasteurized) blue crab meat (lump, backfin, or claw, or combination thereof)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Paprika, for garnish (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of cold water, 1 teaspoon salt, the sugar, and celery seeds. Add the celery; the liquid should completely cover the sliced celery. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Drain the celery, reserving the liquid. In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of the celery liquid until thoroughly combined. Flake the crab meat into the dressing, add the celery and the chives, and stir to combine.
Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and reserved celery liquid. The salad tastes best when given time for the flavors to meld; refrigerate for at least 1 hour— though not more than 24 hours—and remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature. Garnish with paprika, if desired.