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Crab Squash Blossom with Heirloom Tomato

Crab Squash Blossom with Heirloom Tomato

Chef Stephen Cavagnaro

Cavey's, Manchester, CT


  • Ingredients for the Crab Stuffing
  • 6 oz fresh picked crab meat (leg & knuckle meat), drained
  • 1 Tbsp shallots, minced
  • 1 Tbsp leek, minced
  • ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ingredients for the Purple Cherokee Tomato
  • 2 tomatoes, medium size
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 3 tsp basil oil
  • Organic tomato paste
  • Tabasco (optional)
  • Ingredients for the Squash blossoms:
  • 4 squash blossoms, cleaned
  • Buttermilk (for breading)
  • Rice flour (for breading)
  • 3 cups olive oil
  • Nasturtium, mache, or watercress (optional)


Crab Stuffing:

Put crab meat in strainer and drain in refrigerator. After draining, remove any shells and cartilage still in the meat. Sweat the shallot and leek with butter on a low heat for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Combine Dijon, lemon, and mayonnaise with the shallot and leek mixture and mix well. Then, fold in drained crab meat. Cover and refrigerate.


Core and trim top and bottom third of each tomato (reserve for sauce), and cut in half horizontally. Season the two middle sections with sea salt and sherry vinegar to lightly lubricate the tomato. Marinate for 16 minutes, turning tomatoes frequently. Reserve the marinating liquid.

Remove skin from reserved top and bottom of tomato and coarsely chop. Lightly season with sea salt. Place in strainer over a small bowl to collect tomato water. Let rest in strainer for 15 minutes. Lightly press on surface of the tomato to extract all liquid. Reserve liquid. Add some of the reserved tomato marinade. Adjust seasoning with organic tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Add Tabasco sauce if additional spice is required and set aside until plating. When tomato sections are marinated, incorporate the basil oil.

Squash Blossoms:

Using a small spoon, carefully stuff squash blossoms with crab stuffing then close. Dip the blossom into the buttermilk, remove and carefully shake off any excess buttermilk. Next, dip the blossom into rice flour. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it just begins to bubble. Fry the squash blossoms in olive oil one at a time. Fry for a minute on one side, then flip and fry for another minute on the other side. Garnish with nasturtium, mache, or watercress if desired. To plate, spoon tomato sauce onto a dish, followed by the tomatoes. Top with a squash blossom. Serves 4.


Recommended wine/beer for Crab Squash Blossom with Heirloom Tomato:

Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Aligoté [Burgundy, France]

For the crab-stuffed blossoms, Aligoté comes to mind. Aligoté is a white that’s often referred to as Burgundy’s other white grape. In the past, it was often harvested early, producing wine high in acidity. In recent years, it has emerged as a source for clean crisp white wines that display the richness of Burgundy, but which are on a lighter frame than Chardonnay. Michel Lafarge, who is also very well-known for his red wine, is our choice tonight and this is a terrific value white! With the crab meat and crisp tomato dressing, it’s a match that’s just right.


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