Saturday, 17 November 2007

Tobie Puttock

We went to the Good Food and Wine Show last weekend and saw Tobie Puttock give a demonstration in the celebrity theatre. We were pretty close, and he was very cool to watch. One of the dishes he made was a freshly picked crab, white asparagus and baby fennel salad. It sounded really good and I wanted to give it a try. In the information guide they give you the recipe for most of the dishes made in the celebrity theatre, which was good because I had forgotten a lot of it by the time we got home.

freshly picked crab, white asparagus and baby fennel salad
Tobie Puttock, Good Food and Wine Show 2007

300g freshly picked crab or picked crab from your local fishmonger (I used canned *blush*)
zest and juice of one lemon
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 bunch white or green asparagus, about 6 spears
small handful celery leaves
10 mint leaves, roughly torn
small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
good quality extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Pleace the crab into a bowl with chopped chilli, a pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil. Mix with a spoon and set aside.

Soak the fennel in iced water.

Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water. Once they are all al dente remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in cold iced water.

Remove the fennel and asparagus from the water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Toos them in a bowl with celery and parsley leaves, torn mint, lemon zest and a small amount of the lemon juice.

Arrange the dressed asparagus and fennel on a plate and scatter the dressed crab over the top. Finally scatter the fennel tops over and serve.

Tobie made it slightly different in the demonstration. He grilled the asparagus rather than blanching it and he just used undressed crab with no chilli. I did it the way I remember him doing it rather than the way it's written above, but there wasn't that much difference. It's interesting to note too that the picture accompanying the recipe in the information guide has lots of little extras that aren't in the recipe, so I'm guessing it's really one of the "this recipe is a guide only" kind of recipe.

I really liked it. The aniseed flavour of the fennel went so well with the lemon and mint, it was a beautiful harmony of flavours. I didn't really notice the crab much, the flavour was overpowered by the rest of the salad but that might be because I used the tinned stuff. Next time I don't think I'll even bother with the crab - it was delicious without it.

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