Head to the Beach

It has been blazing hot lately. Luckily, I'm just a short drive from the beach. So that's where you will find me these days.................................................
Hot days require lighter food. Gazpacho and Crab Towers were on the menu last night. The Crab Towers are very easy to make and as for the Gazpacho - tomatoes, cucumber, roasted red, yellow and orange peppers all tossed in the blender, topped with a little olive oil.

Los Vascos Sauvignon was a perfect pairing. Crisp with a little grapefruit on the finish.

Shrimp and Crab Tower with Tangerine
Serves 6
From Chef Frank Stitt
Bottega Restaurant

For Sherry Vinaigrette
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme, finely minced
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix shallot, thyme and vinegar together: set aside at least one hour. Whisk olive oil and honey with vinegar mixture to combine. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

For Crab Towers:

1 tablespoon chopped chives, tarragon or flat-leaf parsley
3/4 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked free of shells and cartilage
2 tangerines, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
1/4 pound medium shrimp boiled, peeled, deveined and cut into 1/4' dice
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon lemon mayonnaise
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/4" cubes and tossed with a little lemon juice

In small bowl, dress chopped herbs with 1 tablespoon Sherry Vinaigrette. Add crab meat and 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and gently toss with chopped herbs: set aside. in second small bowl, combine tangerines with 1 teaspoon vinaigrette: set aside, reserving remaining vinaigrette. in third bowl, toss shrimp with lemon mayonnaise and lemon juice: set aside.
Place 2 1/2" round-by-3"-high mold in center of large plate. Fill with 2 tablespoons crabmeat mixture and 2 tablespoons avocado, packing down tightly with back of small spoon. Repeat layering with 2 tablespoons each crab meat, avocado and tangerine, then finish with shrimp, pressing each layer down firmly as before. Unmold on serving plate by gently lifting ring while pressing down on top of tower.
Note: chef Stitt uses 2 1/2" PVC tubing cut into 3" lengths for his molds.

Photography By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman
Sotto Il Monte Vineyards


  1. The beach and food like that... What more could a person need?

  2. I agree with Donna - my needs are blissfully met with those ingredients!
    xo Isa

  3. Cara Ry,

    Blazing hot here as well. Thunders in the afternoon. Often make Gazpacho as well.Accompanied by a glass of Grechetto. The Crab Tower I would like to try. Problem is I am an impatient cook. Elegant and cool photo. Complimenti, Ry! Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

  4. That looks so refreshing. I live in Phoenix so I definatly need something to help cool off. Yummy recipes. Thanks

  5. Love this post.. the towers..the beach the Gazpacho and the wine..I will make your towers..I've tried variations..none as pretty as yours~
    It's a very rainy Summer here in QC w/ very little blue skies and chances of eating al fresco.
    Your whole post is AL FRESCO~

  6. That looks like a beautiful and refreshing dinner....

  7. I see that Jazzy still lives in Hawaii. I just moved here 4 months ago for work. I would love to see her! My email address is moguerra7@gmail.com

    I hope this gets to you!

  8. Great posts on your blog. Here is a recipe that would do well paired with a little Texas Blanc du Bois.

    Keep up the good work.




  9. oh i love this and will be making your tower soon! i just adore your blog, its nice to find time and enjoy you tonight, i bet you are sick to death of my comments, i have months of catching up to do!


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