crab, artichoke & potato salad

This turned out to be a very tasty, not-too-heavy, very flexible app. I used it for the fish course at NYF 2002. Beca and Russell don't eat artichokes, Tad doesn't eat meat or fish, and Russell's allergic to crab, so i wound up doing 3 platings as stated in the recipe (photo), one without the artichokes (for Beca), one with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms in place of the crab (for Tad - see photo), and one that was stylistically the same, but had diced avocado and diced raw ahi for Russell (photo). The ingredients are simple, but the lightly astringent dressing on the potatoes really set off the sweet intensity of the crab and the earthiness of the artichokes in a lovely manner. It's a great dish for a dinner party; everything but the actual assembly can be done in advance, and all the ingredients are served between cold and room temperature. The recipe is adapted from Cooking with Patrick Clark. (Note: when looking for a fancy French name for the dish, i changed it to "tour de fruits de mer", or tower of seafood.)

Serves 4.

Make 1 recipe each of the artichoke salad, potato salad, and basil vinaigrette.

Potato Salad
yield: about 1 cup.
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch dice
1/2 shallot, minced
3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through. Drain and transfer to a paper towel to dry. Place the potatoes in a bowl and toss witht he remaining ingredients. [note: the original recipe calls for some chopped kalamata olives, as well. I omitted them due to guest preferences.] Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use, or for up to 8 hours.

Artichoke Salad
yield: about 1.5 cups
4 large artichokes, cooked
1 tbsp freshly squeezede lime juice
2 tsp olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Remove all of the leaves from the artichokes and completely scrape away and discard any of the fuzzy center. Dice the artichoke bottoms into 1/4-inch pieces and toss them in a bowl with the lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to tate, and refrigerate until ready to use, or for up to 4 hours.

Basil Vinaigrette
yield: about 1 cup
20 fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp fresly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c. olive oil
2 tsp cold water
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Purée all the ingredients in a blender for 1 minute, or until they are thoroughly emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. [note: the original recipe left the bits and pieces in, but i wanted a smooth purée for my presentation.] Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Crab Salad & presentation notes
1/2 lb crabmeat
salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp fresh basil chiffonade

To prepare the crabmeat:
Season the crabmeat lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.

To assemble:
Place a ring mold in the center of a plate. Fill the bottom 1 inch of the mold with the potato salad, pressing firmly. Add an equal layer of artichoke salad, again pressing firmly. I found that jiggling the pieces about so they fit in a tight layer was helpful, too. Add a layer of the crab, again pressing firmly. Holding the salad in place, slowly remove the mold. Top the salad with the basil chiffonade, and if you like, add some fancy baby greens on the side of the plate. Spoon some of the basil vinaigrette around the plate.

Posted by shock on January 12, 2003 | TrackBack
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