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Crab Salad with Endive

When buying endive, look for firm, fat, crisp heads (usually about 6 inches long) with tight, unblemished white leaves ending in yellow tips. Green tips indicate that the endive is not fresh. The cut end should look fresh, with no browning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered lengthwise and finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. finely snipped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 6 large heads Belgian endive

Directions:

Prepare the crab salad
In a bowl, stir together the fennel, crabmeat, shallot, the 1 Tbs. chives, the parsley, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, lemon juice, the 1/4 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. white pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and white pepper.

Assemble the salad
Trim the root ends from the endive heads and separate into spears. Arrange 24 of the largest spears on a platter. Spoon a generous amount of crab salad onto the wide end of each spear, garnish with chives and serve immediately. Makes 24 pieces.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).