Soft Shell Crab and Tomato Salad with Lola Rossa and Basil
Chef Troy Thompson
- 2 prime soft-shell crabs
- 1 large vine ripe tomato
- 1 head washed Lola Rossa lettuce
- 2 bunches green sweet basil
- 12 leaves purple basil
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 2 peeled and finely diced shallots
- 1 green zucchini
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 eggplant
- 6 Kalamala olives
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 _ cups cold water
- Instructions for Ratatouille: Dice very fine the green zucchini, red pepper, yellow squash, eggplant and olives. Sauté in hot olive oil and salt and pepper. Hold aside
- Instructions for Basil Oil: Using small pot, add two cups green basil to one cup hot grapeseed oil. Cook over high heat and stir occasionally with wooden spoon until basil boils and turns dark green. Blend thoroughly in a blender. Return to pot and bring to a boil again. Strain through a clean cloth and cool in a glass container.
- Instructions for Tempura Batter: Mix one cup all-purpose flour, one teaspoon baking powder, one tablespoon cornstarch, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 1_ cup cold water until the consistency is thin. Mixture should be smooth.
- Instructions for Salad: Blanch and peel tomato and slice evenly in six pieces. Lay flat and sprinkle tomato slices with shallots, salt and pepper, and basil oil.
- Julienne six leaves of green basil and six leaves of purple basil.
- Lightly flour the soft-shell crabs and dip in the tempura batter to coat on both sides. Fry the crabs in oil until batter is golden brown. Blot on paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Hold aside.
- Toss Lola Rossa lettuce in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Hold aside.
- Instructions for Presentation: Cut crabs in half. With leg facing the edge of the plate, lay first crab section down. Then alternate marinated tomato, ratatouille and julienned basils until all four crab pieces are plated.
- Place the Lola Rossa lettuce on top of the crab salad. Sprinkle around the perimeter of the plate with basil oil, julienned basil and splashes of balsamic vinegar.