World-travelled food artist, stylist and innovator, Jules Mercer, has been sipping on Zonnebloem’s contemporary classics, inspiring her to whirl up some smart, very sophisticated dishes with an awesomely original flourish.

Here’s her answer to summer entertaining.  This fabulous crab salad is served with Zonnebloem’s elegant blend of two of South Africa’s favourite white grapes: Chenin blanc and Sauvignon blanc, Blanc de Blanc. It’s crisply delicious with tangy flavours of gooseberries, melon and a hint of citrus that makes it a great companion to this special salad served with basil lime mayonnaise.  The dressing is so superb; you can try it over prawns, poached salmon or chicken breast too, with a glass of Blanc de Blanc of course!

Zonnebloem Blanc de Blanc is available from leading stockists nationwide and retails for around R63.

Crab Salad

(Served with Zonnebloem Blanc de Blanc)

Serves: 6

Ingredients

6 whole soft shell crabs (1 per person for a starter, 2 per person for main)

6 Tbsp (90g) flour, seasoned well with salt and pepper

1 large bag mixed soft lettuce (baby spinach, watercress etc)

4 avocados

 

For the basil lime mayonnaise:

zest of 2 limes, juice of 1

small handful fresh basil

1 egg

1 Tbsp (15ml) Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp (15g) sugar

1tsp (5ml) salt and black pepper

4 Tbsp (60ml) olive oil

3Ž4 cup (200ml) canola or sunflower oil

few drops Tabasco (optional)

 Method

Clean the crabs: snip off the top of the crab just below the eyes.  Squeeze out the contents of the sac.  Open the sides of the shell¹s body to reveal the gills (they look feathery), and pull these out on both sides.  Turn the crab over to expose the underneath.  There is a small flap here (known as the apron), lift it up and pull it off the body (it will come off fairly easily).

Heat a large saucepan with a swig of oil to a medium-high heat.  Place the seasoned flour on a large plate, toss the crabs in flour to coat evenly.

Place in the saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes each side until cooked through and crispy.

For the mayonnaise: mix together the lime, basil, egg, mustard, sugar, salt and black pepper in a small bowl or jug.  Blend together with a stick blender to form a smooth green liquid.

Measure the oils into a jug together.  Whilst blending the egg mixture, and very slowly, start to pour the oil in a slow stream.  Blend and pour until the oil is finished and the mixture is thick and glossy.  Stir through the Tabasco if using, to taste.

 

Serve in glasses.  Layer first with the lime mayonnaise, then top with leaves, avocado, then crab pieces.

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