- 1 bunch of wild ramps
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg*
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large softshell crabs, cleaned
- 1 cup flour
- Creole seasoning
- 1/2 pound wild sorrel, cleaned
- 1/2 pound watercress, cleaned
- 12 spears of fresh white asparagus, cooked until tender and chilled
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Preheat the grill.
- Season the ramps with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until wilted. Remove and cool completely. In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, combine the egg, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce and grilled ramps. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- With the machine running, add the oil very slowly in a steady stream. Process until the mixture is thick and creamy. Remove and chill completely.
- Preheat oil in the fryer to 360 degrees.
- Season the softshells and flour with Essence. Dredge the softshells in the flour, coating completely. Carefully holding the top of each crab, drag the legs through the oil for 5 seconds to allow the individual legs to fry separately. Then carefully flip the crabs top side down into the oil. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the crabs over with tongs and continue frying for another 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with Creole seasoning. In a mixing bowl, combine the sorrel and watercress. Season with salt and pepper. Season the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. To serve, spoon some of the dressing in the center of each plate. Form 3 spears of the asparagus into a triangle over each pool of dressing. Mound the greens in the center of each triangle. Lay each softshell on top of the greens. Garnish with parsley.
- *RAW EGG WARNING The American Egg Board states: "There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of food poisoning....Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell."