We always serve one show-stopper appetizer at our parties. It sets the tone for the evening and is hopefully memorable. Crab in any form always makes an elegant hors d’oeuvre and with Dungeness crab in season I wanted to make an appetizer that wasn’t too heavy and different from traditional crab cakes or dip. I found a delicious-sounding recipe for curried crab salad by Daniel Boulud served over watermelon and arugula (yum, will definitely make it this way some day). I just used the recipe for the curried crab and dropped dollops of this delicate salad into endive spears. They're easy to make and I can guarantee your guests will love them.
Curried Crab Salad in Endive Boats
Makes 24-30 appetizers
1 tbls. olive oil
2 tbls. Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
1 tbls. sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. water
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbls. cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbls. mint, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
24-30 endive spears, separated and washed (about 6 endive hearts)
1 lb. lump crab meat, light chopped
In a small saucepan, heat 1 tbls. of olive oil until shimmering. Add the apple, onion, curry and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the water; let cool.
Scrape mixture into a mini processor. Add the mayonnaise and process until smooth. Transfer the curried mayonnaise to a medium bowl, add the cilantro and mint and season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the crabmeat into the curried mayonnaise.
Put 1 tbls. of the curry salad in the root end of each endive spear, filling it up about half way. Starting with the smaller spears in the center, arrange them in a spiral on a platter.
Tips and Tidbits
If you have the time (and the patience), you can save some money on the lump crab meat by buying the crab whole and removing the meat yourself. You can also use ½ lb. fresh crab and 2 cans of high-quality canned crabmeat.