DUNGENESS CRAB SALAD WITH PICKLED GREEN STRAWBERRIES
PICKLED GREEN STRAWBERRIES:
8 green strawberries, sliced
2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) water
5 tbsp (75 ml) rice wine vinegar
5 tbsp (75 ml) granulated sugar
1 lime, juice only
1 orange, zest only
3 black peppercorns, whole
6 coriander seeds, whole
1 large Dungeness crab
½ tsp (2 ml) crushed red pepper flakes
1 shallot, sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half (germ removed)
2 to 3 tsp (10 to 15 ml) tomato paste
⅞ cup (207 ml) grape seed oil
1 egg yolk
2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juice only, divided
2 dashes rice wine vinegar
kosher salt and espelette, to taste
8 white asparagus spears, peeled
granulated sugar, for water
fresh pea shoots, for garnish
10 cured fennel, shaved for garnish
puffed wild rice, for garnish
fresh soft herbs such as pea shoots and chervil, for garnish
- Make PICKLED STRAWBERRIES ahead of time. Place strawberries in a glass container large enough to hold all remaining ingredients.
- Prepare pickle mixture. In a pot combine water, vinegar, sugar, lime juice and orange zest, peppercorns and coriander seeds, bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved. Pour over top of strawberries in container, allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. If you can the strawberries properly they will keep for a year.
- To make SALAD: Cook crab in a large pot of simmering water for 5 minutes remove from water to a large bowl. Remove legs and claws and place body back in simmering water for an additional 3 minutes. Carefully remove meat from shells, reserving leg and claw shells, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Place leftover leg and claw shells in a medium saucepan over low heat for several minutes, stirring regularly. Add pepper flakes, shallot and garlic, cook for several minutes then add tomato paste and cook for several more minutes, preventing colouring. Add grape seed oil and leave on low heat until oil has developed desired taste, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and allow to cool. Refrigerate crab oil until ready to use.
- With crab oil make a mayonnaise. Place egg yolk and Dijon in a bowl, whisk in reserved crab oil, then thin with juice from half a lemon and a couple dashes of rice wine vinegar to achieve desired thickness and balance. Season with kosher salt and espelette.
- In a bowl, dress reserved crabmeat with prepared mayonnaise and freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste. Add a bit at a time, gently fold in meat, season to taste. Set aside.
- Simmer asparagus in a large saucepan of water heavily seasoned with sugar and kosher salt until tender, cool on a tray. Cut into small bite-sized pieces then fold into crab mixture.
- To assemble, arrange crab and asparagus in serving dishes with a few slices of Pickled Green Strawberries. Season with some remaining freshly squeezed lemon juice and pinch or 2 of espelette to taste. Garnish with pea shoots, cured fennel, puffed wild rice and soft herbs, serve immediately.