Summer salad combines corn and crab

  • Tue Jul 17th, 2012 12:43pm
  • Life

Associated Press

Seamus Mullen’s masterful command of bold flavors shines in this simple summer salad of corn and jumbo lump crabmeat from his new cookbook, “Hero Food.”

The fresh flavors of both ingredients are set off by the addition of briny pickled shallots and creamy avocado.

Corn and crab salad

4ears white sweet corn, husks removed

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1clove garlic, grated

5tablespoons olive oil

1/2pound jumbo lump crabmeat (pick through to remove bits of shell)

Handful cherry tomatoes, halved

1English cucumber, skin on, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons

1/4cup pickled shallots (see recipe below)

1avocado, peeled, pitted and diced


Ground black pepper

Aleppo pepper

Handful fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces

Leaves from 1 branch fresh tarragon, torn

Bring a large pot of salt water to a boil. Add the corn and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Once the corn can be handled, cut the kernels off the cobs. To do this, stand each ear on its wide end and saw down the length of the cob with a serrated knife. Turn and repeat until all of the kernels are removed. Set aside.

In a large serving bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, the vinegar and garlic. Mix well, then whisk in the olive oil. Fold in the corn kernels, crabmeat, tomatoes, cucumber, pickled shallots and avocado, being careful as you mix so as not to mash the ingredients.

Season with salt, black pepper and Aleppo pepper, then garnish with fresh basil and tarragon.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 410 calories; 250 calories from fat (61 percent of total calories); 28 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 18 g protein; 6 g fiber; 440 mg sodium.

Pickled shallots

1cup cider vinegar

1/2cup water

2tablespoons sugar

1/2tablespoon mustard seeds

1/2tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2tablespoon coriander seed

1/2tablespoon fennel seed

1/2tablespoon guindilla pepper

1sprig fresh thyme

1/2sprig fresh dill

1clove garlic


To make the pickling liquid, in a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander, fennel, guindilla pepper, thyme, dill and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of liquid. Strain out and discard the solids.

Use a mandoline to slice the shallots paper-thin. Add the shallots to the pickling liquid and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Can be used immediately or refrigerated, covered, up to a week.

Makes 1 cup.

Recipes from Seamus Mullen’s “Hero Food”