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Avocado Dungeness Crab Tower

Photo: California Avocado Commission
From: Ruggero Gadaldi, Pesce, San Francisco. Yield: 4 servings.

8 oz. fresh Dungeness crab meat
3 oz. Roma tomato, seeded, finely diced
3 oz. English cucumber, seeded, finely diced
1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
to taste, salt and white pepper
2 fresh avocados
as needed, basil vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Basil Vinaigrette (yields 1⁄3 cup):
10 basil leaves
2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 oz. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. shallot, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh avocado
pinch of granulated sugar
to taste, salt and white pepper

For basil vinaigrette: Puree all ingredients in a blender. Set aside.

To assemble: In a bowl, combine crab meat, half of the diced tomato, half of the diced cucumber, half of the parsley, the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Mix gently. Season with salt and white pepper.

Place a 2" wide, 3" tall mold on each plate. Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove seed. Using a spoon, cut out silver dollar-sized pieces of avocado. Place a few of these pieces on the bottom of each ring mold. Top each with 1/4 cup of the crab mixture. Place another few pieces of avocado on top of the crab in each mold, then top off each with another 1/4 cup of the crab mixture. Press down firmly, but gently. Lift off the molds and top each tower off with more avocado rounds.

Spoon dots of basil vinaigrette around towers, and sprinkle the remaining diced tomato, diced cucumber and parsley onto the plates. Serve.

Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

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