Using a Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA box from FreshDirect, Christine Yi of @cy_eats created a unique dinner of crispy soft shell crab and seasonal veggies on top of a creamy avocado sauce.
1 shallot, sliced into thin rings
2 medium Hakurai turnips, julienned or wedges (see Note)
2 small fennel heads, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 bunch garlic scapes, trimmed
1 bunch frisée, split in half
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
What to do:
In a small bowl, add shallot rings and cover with rice vinegar. Let sit for at least an hour.
Put all avocado sauce ingredients, except avocados, in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add 2 avocados and salt to taste. Blend again until smooth.
Transfer to bowl, cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat grill to high.
Sprinkle frisée and garlic scapes liberally with salt and pepper.Garlic scapes can be trimmed like asparagus, snapped where it breaks and blanched in salted water until tender, about 1-2 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil. Char both on hot grill until lightly charred but not burnt. Let cool. (If you don’t have a grill available, you can broil the frisée and garlic scapes for about 3-4 minutes per side, about 4-5 inches from broiler heat.)
In the meantime, in a medium bowl, add turnips, fennel, and cilantro. If the outer layer of your turnips seems thick, peel before slicing. Squeeze juice of lemon, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Once cool, chop frisée and garlic scapes into bite-size pieces. Add to turnip mixture and toss together. (Christine uses a spiralizer to make “toodles” (turnip noodles) with the turnips. If you don’t have one, use a mandoline to julienne or cut into wedges.)
Place 1 cup of rice flour in a wide shallow bowl or pie dish. Lightly dust crabs in rice flour on all sides. Add more flour if necessary.
Add about 1/4-inches of canola oil into 12-inch heavy pan and heat over high heat until hot. Add 2 crabs to pan at a time. Brown until crisp on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side. If pan gets too hot, reduce heat to medium. Remove crabs and drain excess oil on paper towel. Repeat with other crabs.
If you have a grill and want an even healthier option, you can grill the soft shell crabs. Omit the rice flour, brush with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and grill over high heat for 4 minutes per side until crisp.
Plate with veggies, avocado sauce and crabs.
Did you know? Any extra avocado sauce can be used like mayo in other recipes, sandwiches, etc. It would be amazing as a mayo sub in a BLT. Also, if you are dairy-free, you can omit the milk and substitute cold water; the milk lends creaminess to the sauce. Avocado sauce can be kept in fridge for 3-4 days.