Courtesy Matt Bolton, executive chef, the C Restaurant in Monterey
Dungeness Crab Salad
2 whole Dungeness crabs, cooked and all meat picked (see accompanying recipe)
2 whole avocados
1 teaspoon shallots, chopped
2 sprigs parsley, leaves picked and cut in a chiffonade
2 sprigs tarragon, chervil, chives, picked and minced
4 bunches mâche
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
Meyer Lemon Purée (see recipe below)
Toss crab meat with the extra-virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons of Meyer lemon purée. Add chopped parsley, tarragon, chives, chervil and shallots. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place two bunches of mâche near top of plate. Whisk 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon purée with olive oil and drizzle over mâche. Quarter avocado and fan out in front of mâche. Place crab salad on top of avocado. Garnish plate with sprinkle of piment d’Espelette, and using a squeeze bottle, place 3 dots of Meyer Lemon Purée on the plate
2 2-pound Dungeness crabs
1 bunch thyme
2 cups dry white wine
½ cup kosher salt
Small handful black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in a pot and fill with enough water to easily cover crabs. Bring liquid to a boil then add crabs and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from the water and allow the crabs to cool. Once cooled, crack and clean the crabs with a cracker or small mallet. Reserve the crab meat.
Meyer Lemon Purée
4 Meyer lemons
1 cup simple syrup
6 threads saffron
Halve the lemons, then juice. Strain and reserve the liquid.
Take the lemon halves and cut into quarters, lay flat and with a sharp knife, slice down the length of the rind, removing the pith. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the lemon rinds for about 30 seconds, strain.
Refill the pot with cold water and repeat this process two more times (to remove bitterness). Make sure all the white pith is removed from the lemon.
Place lemons in a pot with the simple syrup, lemon juice and saffron. Simmer on low heat until translucent, about 30 minutes.
Remove the rind from the liquid and place in high-speed blender, adding spoonfuls of the cooking liquid to get the rinds moving. Purée until smooth.