Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is "Crab-Avocado Ravioli“. The fresh colors and flavors of this elegant appetizer are so summery and look especially good served on a big white plate. But it does not hurt to also garnish this unusual dish with some fresh chives, purple sage flowers, bright orange apricot balm flowers, and red flowers from an orange sage or other edible flowers.
The original recipe for this dish comes from chef Pascal Barbot of the famous „L` Astrance“, a „3 étoiles au Michelin“ and „5 toques au Gault & Millau“ restaurant on „rue Beethoven“ (could not let that go unnoticed, of course) in that famous city called Paris. Sure sounded a tad intimidating to me. And called for an elegant presentation, at least a good try.
Dorie´s recipe adaptation calls for crabmeat, sea salt, juice and zest of a lime, shallot, cilantro, and almond oil for the crab salad part. At L`Astrance, the salad has chives but no cilantro and no shallot. And that is the route I followed as well as we are not too fond of cilantro. The most challenging part of this recipe seemed to be the slicing of the avocado for the "ravioli effect". To make sure that I would get a least a few decent slices, I hunted down quite a few perfectly ripe avocoados and sliced them as thin as I could using a very large and sharp knife. You slice the avocado skin on and pit in. Great new technique to learn and extremly challenging if I may say so - these avocado pits are rather unruly if you attempt to slice them...
Although it is technically a fruit, the mild-flavored avocado is used as a vegetable. Native to central America, parts of Africa, Australia, Israel and the Canaries, the Hass variety (considered to be the best), which we get around here has a dark, knobbly skin and hails mostly from Israel. Just a few years ago we used to find less Hass and more smooth-skinned Fuerte variety which I like less because it usually arrives at the store rock-hard and often does not seem to ripen properly despite numerous efforts on my part to ripen them quickly by putting them in a brown paper bag with a banana and keeping them out of the fridge. So Hass it is nowadays at our house. But, as always, I try to go for an unblemished skin, and flesh that gives slightly if squeezed gently, though, of course, it should not actually be soft.
Other than the above-mentioned crab salad and perfectly ripe avocados, I considered one more element of this recipe to be quite important. The oil. What better excuse to finally go and pay a visit to my favorite oil mill again – right here downtown Bonn. So, when I rushed there last week and got a bottle of their native cold-pressed almond oil, I also picked up my absolute favorite cold-pressed oil of all times for drizzling on avocado, the pistachio oil (remember Anne Leblanc´s Pistachio Avocado we made back in May 2013 and that can see here). I also bought a bottle of a very mild olive oil to make the Olive-Oil Ice Cream again that we made back in June 2012 (you can see the ice cream here) and that we loved so much.
But back to the almond oil – sweet tasting and light and utterly delicious, this oil is the perfect compliment to the nutty avocado and mild enough to let all the flavors of this lovely dish shine through.
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.
If you happen to own Dorie Greenspan´s "Around my French Table", you will find the recipe for these lovely Crab-Avocado Ravioli on pages 185.
For more information about the almond oil and the oil mill, you can go here.
For more information on L`Astrance cookbooks called "Astrance Livre de Cuisine", you can go here.
So pretty! I wasn't able to slice my avocados with a knife even slightly thicker than the recipe called for because mine were slightly too ripe for that. I love your use of flowers!ReplyDelete
Mardi, merci beaucoup! The slicing of that darn tough avocado pit proved to be quite a challenge but the recipe was amazing!Delete
I cannot remember when I've observed such gorgeous food.
People in heaven surly eat this!
Avocados! Such a delicacy. Such texture.
This def. has the WOW factor. xx
Kim, this is such a fabulous comment, thank you so much - you are such a kind soul. Avocados are just amazing and whenever I prepare I recipe using them, I can never get over how creamy and wonderful they are!Delete
Sensationally beautiful, along with being very appetizing for a dish! Everyone in my family would love this. Thanks so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
Peggy, so nice to hear from you - thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Amazingly, this dish was a real crowd pleaser at home - my kids really enjoyed the different flavors and textures.And the girls loved the herb flowers as a garnish as well. Hope you also enjoy cooking from the Hugh-Whittingstall cookbook - looking forward to your post at the end of the month.Delete
Your photos of the dish are simply gorgeous! I think that it probably would have worked better for me to have peeled my avocados, then sliced, I use avocados a lot, and would have been easier. As it was, I tried the suggested method and managed a few little ravioli, then just punted to mix the rest together and use to top mini tostadas... interesting about the oil and other flavors. Since I'm in the desert southwest of the US, I went in a different direction, definitely with cilantro, and then used some chile-flavored olive oil. I think that's sometimes some of the fun in reading about and looking at everyone's dishes. Yours is amazing, and I love the chives and flowers. Have a wonderful weekend!ReplyDelete
Candy, we do not eat avocados all that often but when we do, we always love how they taste. I love the different variations that the Doristas come up with - adding chili oil and cilantro sounds definitely like a great twist on this recipe - how wonderful that you went with what you love and know and prefer! Variety is indeed the spice of life! Thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comment!Delete
Your garnish is just spectacular...such a nice array of colors! I was lucky to find one nasturtium in the garden! Happy weekend!!!ReplyDelete
Dear Liz, the nasturtiums are some of my very favorite edible plants to use - I love how they dress up just aboout any dish in such a unique and pretty way. Thank you for the kind comment!Delete
This is truly one of the most beautiful creations I have seen - and I can't wait to try it! I have never used almond oil, but must give it a try. Your garnishes cannot be equaled, Andrea - absolument parfait! We have a hard time getting good crab here, so I may have to try this with shrimp or langoustines. Happy weekend! ~ DavidReplyDelete
David, you are just wonderful - thank you so very much! In fact, it took me forever to settle on an idea for this picture - although we certainly love ripe avocados, they are certainly not the most photogenic of fruits. I felt like I had to pull out all my props first before I decided less was more and pulled all the flowers from my herbs.Delete
Ganz liebe und herzliche Grüsse nach Tuscon!
That looks amazing! Truly a gourmet bite of food. :) It sounds delicious too, I can only imagine the vibrant flavors and textures!ReplyDelete
June, thank you very much for your kind comment and for stopping by!Delete
Sensationell!!! Das ist eine so gute Idee, Andrea. Sommeressen :-) Gab es dazu frisches Baguette? Sind die roten Blüten von Ananassalbei?ReplyDelete
Der ist bei mir noch ganz klein und blüht meistens erst im Herbst... Mein Borretsch ist auch erst 2 cm gross :-(
Einfach herrlich, diese Komposition. Dank an dich und ein schönes Wochenende! Wally
Liebe Wally, so ein wundervoller Kommentar! Lieben Dank! Also, die Kräuter habe ich ja vor gut zwei Wochen in Lindlar auf dem Gartenmarkt gekauft - die lila Blüten sind normaler Salbei, die hell-orangen sind Aprikosen-Melisse und die roten von meinem Orangen-Salbei - das Bohnenkraut ist schon verblüht, der Rosmarin auch - es war eben sehr heiß bei uns in den letzten Wochen. Auf den Rest warte ich noch.Delete
Ich wünsche dir noch ein tolles Wochenende und sende dir ganz liebe Grüsse,
Hi Andrea, what a masterpiece, very impressive, Avocado and seafood goes so well together, you can see all the little flowers and detail that went into this dish. So perfect for entertaining.ReplyDelete
Cheri, thak you kindly, the combination of avocado and seafood is a rather well-known one, you are absolutely right. So, a little bit of fancyness seemed quite in order for this dish!Delete
So pretty and elegant. We eat a lot of avocado as they are so cheap and although we do get crab here I think I would like to try this with prawns. Have a great day!ReplyDelete
Karen, somehow this recipe was begging for an elegant presentation and pretty certainly never hurt either.Delete
Simply beautiful presentation, Andrea! I thought this was a winner…but I don’t know if I would bother to make it again! Have a wonderful week-end!ReplyDelete
Kathy, glad you enjoyed this recipe - thanks for stopping by.Delete
Stunning presentation, Andrea! This sounds delicious too.ReplyDelete
Cathleen, thank you very much - it was delicious, trust me, a very nice recipe, certainly worth trying at least once.Delete
I love the way you presented this - so pretty! I've got sage flowers in my garden right now - they're so beautiful (and the bees love them).ReplyDelete
Teresa, sage is indeed a wonderful herb - got lots of that lovely herb flowering in my garden too. And, yes, the bees love it as well.Delete
So beautiful Andrea! The edible flowers really make it look elegant.ReplyDelete
Gaye, I am glad that the photos turned out this way - the darling avocado is not the most photogenic of fruits, so it was hard to get this wonderful appetizer the attention it deserved!Delete
Amazing photos, very artistic plating, an excellent post - highly informative!ReplyDelete
Emily, thank you very much - glad that you enjoy this post!Delete
You are so right good olive and I even think good salt really makes this dish... the flower garnish is beyond lovely.ReplyDelete
Diane, well, oil was an important component of this dish but I did not use olive oil, I used cold-pressed native almond oil from my favorite oil mill for this recipe. Almond oil was called for in the recipe and I appreciated the lightness of this oil in combination with the other components.Delete
The first time I slice avocado, it turned all mushy by the time I am done with it! you managed to slice yours so neat, probably the best looking ones in these photos huh!:P really gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Jeannie, as I mentioned in my post, that is why Dorie´s recipe calls for the "skin on, pit in" technique - if you take the skin off or the pit out too soon, you will never get decent avocado slices - and no, while not all slices were perfect, I certainly ended up with more than two nice slices. A challenge indeed but doable even with a very sharp knife and not a mandoline.Delete
I loved the look of this dish, complete with edible flowers. Crabs with avocado is surely a heavenly combo. Thanks for sharing this. :)ReplyDelete
Dear Purabi, thank you kindly - I am always on the lookout for edible herb flowers and flowers, love to use them for garnish as well as eating them - they add such a wonderful flavor to many a dish.Delete
what a gorgeous-green,soothing,summery dish....beautiful food clicks dear Andrea....your posts are always such an inspiration,thanks :-)ReplyDelete
Dear, so nice read that you enjoy this colorful, summery post - I was hoping that I could make these "Crab-Avocado Ravioli" look as elegant as possible - somehow Dorie´s recipe called this kind of presentation! Always so very nice to hear from you!Delete
Very, very pretty!ReplyDelete
It is definitely the quality of the ingredients that make this dish - and getting just the right avocado is a challenge!
Cher, absolutely, could not agree with you anymore - good ingredients always seem to be the key when it comes to recipes like this one.Delete
This has to be the prettiest thing I've seen on a plate in a long time Andera. Love your presentation and the salad itself sounds fabulous!ReplyDelete
Thank you kindly, Scott - aren´t you the very talented person behind the lens for Café Sucre Farine - how nice of you to let me know that you enjoy this post of mine. I certainly appreciate it! And I certainly love all the marvelous pictures that you take for CSF. And tons of greetings to Chris!Delete
That is so elegant and pretty. I want to lick the screen!ReplyDelete
Trishie, now if that were possible, that would be delicious fun indeed!Delete
Crab and avocado! YUM, what a delicious combination!! And your presentation.... this is not an ordinary avocado recipe, Andrea! I'm very impressed with the gorgeous plate of avocado. I love it!ReplyDelete
Nami, aren´t you vacationing in Japan with your family, dear?! Hope you are having a smashing time with tons of great food, incredible inspirations and lots of fun for the kids - I am sure you will be back with many new and surprisng recipes.Delete
Thank you so much for the comment - this was indeed a different kind of recipe and we quite enjoyed the combination of creamy avocado, tangy crab salad with lime and wonderfully light, nutty almond oil.
Have a great time, enjoy yourself and maybe get some well-deserved rest, if possible at all!
Oh my goodness this looks AMAZING!ReplyDelete
Candy, you are such a kind person - thanks for the nice comment!Delete
Wow, decadent. That was the first thing that hit my mind when I saw your post.ReplyDelete
Such a refreshing dish for the summer evenings, Andrea.
I love the edible flowers. Your presentations are always so lovely.
Hope your week started smoothly. xo
Colette, the week started allrght - kids are still going to school for another three weeks before summer holiday start and the World Cup is on - what more could one ask for, seriously, everything is good, even the weather. This was such a lovely appetizer indeed, different and delicious. Thank you for stopping by, dear!Delete
Andrea, this is such a rich and beautiful dish. Lucy loves avocados (it is her favorite food, period) so this dish immediately caught my eye. I would love to make this is as a special dinner during her birthday week. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!ReplyDelete
Monet, I read in one of your blog posts that little Lucy loves avocado - so healthy and good for her - what a gourmet baby, she seems to have developed great taste already, just like her mom. Thank you for stopping by my friend!Delete
Hi Andrea., love the freshness and the cleanliness of this recipe. Perfect for summer, so refreshing.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind comment. Hope you are having a good week.
Dear Aida, thank you so much for stopping by - glad that you enjoy this post. I enjoyed your post on your lovely collection of teapots quite a bit myself!Delete
I think the Michelin chef would be truly impressed with your presentation…it is lovely. KarenReplyDelete
Yea! My comment went through, it must mean blogspot likes me again…at least for a few days. :)Delete
Thank you, Karen, both for the kind comment and for being such a trooper about the blogger situation!Delete
Dorie has certainly expanded my repertoire of nut oils. My fridge would feel bare without pistachio oil and I too really enjoyed discovering almond oil with this recipe.ReplyDelete