Recipe courtesy of Nancy Forrest

Grilled Vegetables Salad with Crab Cakes and Saffron Aioli

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

Crab Cakes:

2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper

2 tablespoons diced yellow bell pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound Dungeness crabmeat, picked over, cartilage and shell bits removed

3 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

Vegetables for Grilling:

2 fennel bulbs, quartered

1 yellow zucchini, sliced

24 asparagus spears

2 leeks, halved

1 pound new potatoes, partially cooked for 10 minutes in water

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Balsamic vinegar

Saffron Aioli, recipe follows

Saffron Aioli:

8 to 10 cloves garlic

Salt

White pepper

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

2 egg yolks, room temperature*

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, at room temperature

1 lemon, juiced

Pinch cayenne

Directions

  1. Saute the peppers and garlic in olive oil. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a big bowl, combine the crabmeat, 3 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, herbs, bread crumbs, and the cooled Sauteed mixture. Mix well. If it seems dry, add more mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Make balls from crab mix into 8 equal portions. Pat each into a disk. Chill again until ready to cook.
  4. Preheat grill for 20 minutes before you need to cook vegetables. Prep all the vegetables then toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper in separate bowls. Grill them over medium high heat until they are tender but not mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill. As they come off grill, toss them in a bit more olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  5. Fry the crab cakes over medium high heat in olive oil until golden brown. Serve with the grilled vegetables and Saffron Aioli.

Saffron Aioli:

  1. Use garlic that is fresh and firm. If garlic has sprouted, split the cloves and remove green germ. In food processor, puree garlic until chopped fine. Season with salt and pepper and add the saffron and egg yolks. With motor running slowly, add the olive oil in a thin steady stream. When it is done, it should be like a thick mayonnaise. Add lemon juice and cayenne and taste for seasoning.
  2. Alternatively, you can make the aioli in a mortar and pestle, which is the traditional way.
  3. Yield: 2 cups
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