For a thorough education on seafood sustainability, sourcing and cookery, look no further than chef-author Barton Seaver. His new widely endorsed collection of recipes addresses overfishing and overcooking, responsible purchasing and innovative preparation, all in one glorious tome. Pick up a copy, a fillet knife and a pair of claw crackers — tonight is fish night!
The original Cobb was essentially a garden salad that was billed as a main dish. It included a bounty of novel ingredients that suddenly could be shipped by freight from far-flung agricultural areas. There were so many new and delicious tastes all together on one plate. Imagine how cool such a composition must have been at the time! I include a recipe here because bringing together so many great tastes and textures is still a cool thing — not to mention pretty damn delicious.
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
- Double recipe of Red Wine Vinaigrette, divided use
- 2 heads Belgian endive or 1 head chicory, chopped
- 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
- 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 pounds king crab legs, shelled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Freshly ground pepper-allspice
Red wine vinaigrette
- 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 (5-ounce) cans oil-packed U.S. albacore tuna or Alaska sockeye or pink salmon, drained and oil reserved
For the vinaigrette
Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and grated garlic in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil and reserved tuna oil. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
For the salad
Season the tomatoes with salt and toss with half of the vinaigrette. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
Divide the endive, watercress, avocados, crabmeat, hard-boiled eggs, and lemon equally among 4 plates. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salads and season with salt. Divide the marinated tomatoes among the salads and season with freshly ground pepper-allspice.