Dungeness Crab Toast with Avocado
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Fresh Dungeness crab and avocado are a match made in heaven. Here, the combination is transformed into a delicious appetizer served on crostini. Jimmy Nardello peppers, which originated in southern Italy, are a long, thin-skinned pepper with a sweet flavor. If you can’t find them, you can use another type of sweet pepper, such as a gypsy pepper or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips.
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- 4 Jimmy Nardello peppers, cut into rings
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) Champagne vinegar
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 avocados, halved and pitted
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) cooked Dungeness crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell fragments
- 1 sourdough batard, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
- Leaves from 2 fresh tarragon sprigs
Directions:Put the peppers in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water and sugar and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pour over the peppers. Refrigerate until chilled. The peppers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the olive oil and 2 Tbs. of the lime juice. Crush with the back of a fork until blended. Season generously with pepper and salt to taste.
In another bowl, gently stir together the crabmeat, 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the olive oil and the remaining 1 Tbs. lime juice.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat.
Brush the bread slices on both sides with the remaining 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil and season with salt. Grill the bread, turning once, until nicely grill-marked, about 2 minutes per side.
To assemble, spread each crostini with some of the avocado. Top with the crabmeat and garnish with the pickled peppers and tarragon leaves. Serves 8.
Charlie Parker, Chef, Haven, Oakland, CA