Crabmeat, Asparagus, And Tomato Salad, Two Ways
- PLATING AND GARNISH:
- 4 cups mesclun lettuces
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 8 rice paper wrappers
- Crabmeat Ravigote (listed below)
- 18 spears Cooked Asparagus (listed below), halved diagonally
- 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable oil for frying, plus
- more for plating version 2
- Chive Oil (listed below)
- Chopped parsley
- Essence to taste (see Bayou Blast recipe)
- CRABMEAT RAVIGOTE:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons small capers drained
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 hard boiled egg peeled and sieved
- 1 pound lump crabmeat picked over for shells and cartilage
- COOKED ASPARAGUS:
- 1/2 pound pencil-thin asparagus spears - (to 1 lb) tough woody ends
- removed, spears trimmed to an even length
- CHIVE OIL:
- 1 bunch fresh chives
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, toss the lettuces with the olive oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Plating 1: Soak rice paper wrappers in warm water until they are pliable, about 3 minutes. Remove 2 softened wrappers and place on the work surface, slightly overlapping each other. Place some lettuce on the wrapper. Top with some of the ravigote and asparagus. Roll the wrapper around the filling like a burrito. Wet the edge to seal.
Slice the tomatoes thinly. Place some tomato slices on a plate. Slice the lettuce/ravigote wrap on the diagonal and place on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle the plates decoratively with the herb oil, and garnish with chopped parsley and Essence. Serve immediately.
Plating 2: Have rice paper wrappers soaked. Cut the rice paper into thin strips. Add the rice paper strips in batches and fry until golden, turning with a slotted spoon, about 45 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Essence, to taste.
Place 4 ring molds, about 3-inches in diameter and 2-inches high, in the center of 4 salad plates. Arrange the lettuces around the molds.
Dice the tomatoes. Spoon the crabmeat into each mold, pressing firmly with the back of a spoon to pack as tightly as possible. Carefully remove the molds, leaving a tight stack of crabmeat.
In a small bowl, lightly dress the diced tomato with chive oil and salt to taste. Gently spoon about 1 tablespoon of the dressed tomato onto each crabmeat stack. Arrange 4 asparagus spears around each plate, placing a small dollop of the remaining tomato between each spear. Stand chive spears against each crabmeat stack, top with the fried rice papers and decoratively garnish the plates with parsley and Essence, and serve.
For the Crabmeat Ravigote: In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce, and salt. Whisk to combine. Fold in the green onions, capers, shallots, parsley and sieved egg. Gently fold in the crabmeat, turning to gently coat with the dressing and being careful not to break up the lumps. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
For the Cooked Asparagus: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes, depending upon their thickness. Transfer with tongs to an ice bath to refresh. Remove from the water and pat dry. Set aside.
For the Chive Oil: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the chives and blanch for 10 seconds. Drain and transfer to an ice bath. Remove and pat dry on paper towels, squeezing to remove any excess water. Roughly chop and transfer to a blender. With the machine running, add the oil and salt through the feed tube and process until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing against the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible. Transfer to a squirt bottle and refrigerate until needed, for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using. (Makes about 1/2 cup)
This recipe yields 4 servings.