Cook with

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

POSH SOL­DIERS

2 large, long green ba­nana chill­ies Ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Red wine vine­gar 100-150g (3½-5½oz) picked crab­meat, bar­be­cued if pos­si­ble A small bunch of fresh dill, fronds chopped Juice of 1 le­mon 1tbsp qual­ity may­on­naise, made from free-range eggs Smoked pa­prika (op­tional) 4 big slices of sour­dough, toasted 1 gar­lic clove, halved 4-5 cherry to­ma­toes, quar­tered (op­tional)

CRAB SALAD WITH CU­CUM­BER AND GRATED TOMATO SALSA

1 cu­cum­ber 1 fen­nel, top trimmed A small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped Juice of 1 le­mon Ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 300g (10½oz) picked crab­meat 2 ripe to­ma­toes of dif­fer­ent colours ½ a fresh red chilli Ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Red wine vine­gar 1cm (½in) piece of fresh gin­ger, peeled and finely grated Peel the cu­cum­ber into el­e­gant rib­bons us­ing a speed-peeler, dis­card­ing the wa­tery mid­dles. Finely slice the fen­nel with a knife or peeler (even if it’s rough and choppy, you’ll get lovely re­sults). Put in a bowl with the mint and half the le­mon juice, plus the same amount of olive oil. Sea­son with a pinch of salt and pep­per and any fen­nel tops. Don’t toss — just pop in the fridge un­til you need it.

For the salsa, put a box grater over a chop­ping board and coarsely grate your to­ma­toes to a slurry. You’ll end up with seeds and skin on one side, slurry on the other. Get rid of the seeds and skin. Finely grate in the chilli and sea­son well. Add a lug of oil, a swig of vine­gar and the gin­ger, then set aside.

Put your crab­meat in a bowl and pour the re­main­ing le­mon juice in one side of the bowl. Add the same amount of olive oil and a good pinch of pep­per, then set aside. Toss the cu­cum­ber and fen­nel to dress, then di­vide be­tween plates or pile on a plat­ter. Toss the crab­meat in its le­mon-and-olive-oil dress­ing, place it on the cu­cum­ber, then lob your kick­ing salsa over it. This is fresh, clean, vi­brant, crunchy and ex­cit­ing. On a hot bar­be­cue, blacken the chill­ies all over un­til they look ru­ined. Put in a bowl and cover with cling­film to steam off the skins. Once cool enough, re­move the core, seeds and skin. Finely slice, sea­son, add a driz­zle of oil and a swig of vine­gar. Ad­just the sea­son­ing un­til it’s just de­li­cious.

In a bowl, dress the crab with dill, le­mon juice, a cou­ple of ta­ble­spoons of oil, mayo, a good pinch of pa­prika, if you like, and sea­son­ing. Rub the bread with the gar­lic. Driz­zle with oil, slice into sol­diers and ar­range on a board.

Di­vide the chilli be­tween the toasts and top with the crab, then the to­ma­toes. Serve with chilled white wine. Heav­ens above!

For the grated tomato salsa

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