Grilled Softshell Crab with Summer Vegetables
Serves 4, By Market Chef Maggie Perkins.
Marinade (see recipe below)
Vegetables of your choice
Remove any caked on debris from grill with a brush. Wipe grates with high smoke point neutral flavor oil like grapeseed, avocado, or peanut oil. Preheat grill and adjust flame/temperature to about medium.
Prepare vegetables of your choice by slicing or cutting in uniform pieces. Toss vegetables with a favorite dressing or marinade (recipe below). Allow to marinate 30 minutes to and hour. Remove from marinade and string on pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Place them on a skewer, adjusting the types of vegetables used on skewer according to their cooking time. For instance, wedges of cabbage and onion halves take longer to cook than cherry tomatoes. They pair well with okra, halved lengthwise. Squash and eggplant take about the same amount of time to cook. Experiment with combinations to arrive at your preference for doneness. Set aside skewered vegetables.
Marinate softshell crabs in a separate storage bag or bowl of marinade for no longer than 20 minutes. Remove from marinade, pat dry, and string onto a pre-soaked bamboo skewer through the middle from front to back. Season vegetables and crabs with a light dusting of creole seasoning.
Place vegetable skewers over hottest part of grill. Allow to char on edges, then turn. Place softshell crabs over indirect heat and cook until slightly charred along edges, just a few minutes, then turn for a few minutes charring the opposite side. Cook vegetables until softened and charred slightly on both sides. Remove to a platter and serve with a bowl of favorite salsa on side.
1 ½ cups olive oil
½ cup white wine vinegar
¼ chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tablespoon dried basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Pinch of dried oregano
Combine all ingredients in small bowl and whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Photos by Maggie Perkins