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Grilled Soft-Shell Crabs with Summer Field Peas, Sweet Corn Succotash, & Pecan-Parsley Pesto
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Ingredients

For the pecan-parsley pesto:  
(Yields 1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
Dash of kosher salt and white pepper

For the basil oil:
(Yields 1 cup)
4 cups water
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium bowl of equal parts ice and water

For the succotash:
(Yields 3 cups)
4 cups water
1/2 cup pink-eyed peas
1/2 cup butterbeans
1 medium bowl of equal parts ice and water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp. chopped shallots
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 cup each diced red, yellow, and green
    bell peppers
1/4 cup sweet corn kernels
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium
    chicken stock
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped chives
Kosher salt and white pepper

For the crabs:
4 cleaned soft-shell crabs
2 tsp. canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    to taste
 

 

 

Directions

For the pecan-parsley pesto:  
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse on low until chunky. You only need 1/4 cup for this recipe; the remaining pesto can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

For the basil oil:
Put the water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the basil and stir until the leaves are bright green, 10 to 20 seconds. Strain. Transfer immediately to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Leave for one minute, drain, and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Put the basil and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a large fine-mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a bowl. The oil can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four weeks.

For the succotash:
Put the water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the peas and butterbeans and cook for one minute. Drain. Transfer immediately to the ice bath to stop the cooking process, leave for one minute, and drain.
Heat one tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and bell peppers and cook for two to three minutes, until just tender.
Add the peas, butterbeans, and corn and simmer for three minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter, stirring in one tablespoon at a time. Add the basil and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the crabs:
Prepare a hot grill to 500°F.
Place the crabs on a baking sheet, brush them with canola oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the crabs on the grill, top side down. Grill them for five minutes on each side, or until grill marks are visible. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200°F oven for up to 10 minutes.

To assemble:
2 cups succotash (recipe above)
4 grilled soft-shell crabs (recipe above)
4 Tbs. pecan-parsley pesto (recipe above)
4 Tbs. basil oil (recipe above)
Microgreens, for garnish (optional)

Dot one tablespoon of basil oil and drizzle one tablespoon of pesto onto each plate. Top with 1/2 cup of succotash and its liquid. Place a crab on top. Garnish with microgreens if desired.

 

 


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