A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time taking in some phenomenal food in Charleston at the annual Wine and Food Festival. It was an awesome time of year to be down there, with spring produce just barely coming in to season and some winter produce still remaining.
The following dish was inspired by a salad course that I had at the Firefly distillery on Wadmalaw Island, catered by the exceptional culinary staff of the Sanctuary. This dish is Jumbo Lump Crab with Citrus, Cucumber, Radish, Lucky Leaf Garden’s Pea Shoots and Micro Chard, Roasted Radish Puree and Wasabi Vinaigrette.
For the Roasted Radish Puree, I tossed the radishes in salad oil, then seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. The radishes were roasted at 325 degrees on low fan in a convection oven for about an hour, until they are tender all the way through. They are then pureed on high speed in a Vitaprep blender with some fresh shallot and thyme. The revolutions in a Vitaprep are so high that once you have pureed it thoroughly there is no need to pass it through a tammis. The mixture will be too thick to puree without adding liquid, so adding chicken stock works nicely to add background flavor. Finish with honey, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, pureeing again quickly after reaching the desired flavor.
The wasabi vinaigrette is as follows:
· 2 teaspoons wasabi paste
· 1 tablespoon honey
· 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
· 1/2 cup vegetable oil
· 1/2 cup sesame oil
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
· Salt and pepper
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix all ingredients thoroughly then taste for seasoning.
The result was a light, refreshing salad that worked really well in the context of a seven course dinner.