1 cup fresh English peas, blanched
½ cup Charleston Gold rice
4 small soft shell crabs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, California or other top-quality variety
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups rice flour
2 cups pea shoots (tendrils), loosely packed
2 small watermelon radishes, sliced in thin circles
½ cup almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon smoky salt
- Blanche green peas in boiling water for 1−2 minutes and set aside.
- Cook rice (if using Charleston Gold, note that the ratio is a little less than the 2:1 water to rice that is customary) and set aside.
- Clean the softies with sharp scissors by removing lungs, eyes, and face and flap covering the bottom.
- Cook blanched peas in a little butter, just until tender. Add lemon zest and fold into rice to make pirlou.
- Make dressing for pea shoots with the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, shallots, and salt.
- Dust crabs in rice flour and pan fry to a crispy golden brown.
- To serve, spoon a little pirlou on a plate and place a softie on top. Toss pea shoots, radish, and almonds in dressing, top crab with a little salad, splash extra dressing on crab and around plate, and sprinkle with smoky salt.
- from Executive Chef Frank Lee of Maverick Southern Kitchens in Charleston