One of my favorite salads is thinly sliced grapefruit with slices of ripe avocado drizzled with tangy Dijon mustard vinaigrette. It’s terrific year-round, but especially in the winter when citrus is in season.
To create an hors d’oeuvre that could capture the essence of this salad in a single bite, I carefully shingled thinly sliced grapefruit and avocado. Instead of just drizzling the bites with vinaigrette, I reverse spherified the dressing to create mustard caviar. When you eat this, the tiny caviar pop in your mouth and you get a tangy burst of flavor that perfectly accents the creamy avocado and zippy grapefruit. If molecular gastronomy is too fussy, just mix the dressing and drizzle away.
Avocado and Grapefruit Napoleons
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh basil, for garnish
1. Slice avocado on a mandoline and supreme a grapefruit.
2. Cut small squares of both avocado and grapefruit and layer them on top of one another.
3. Mix together mustard and champagne vinegar and then slowly drizzle in olive oil.
4. If reverse spherifying, mix a gelatin bath and add calcium lactate to your dressing. Create caviar. A more in-depth look into this process can be found here.
5. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with micro basil leaves.
I’ve seen many iterations of a lobster roll reimagined as an hors d’oeuvre, but most fall short for me because they are either too big or the ratio of bread to lobster is off. An hors d’oeuvre should be small enough to be eaten in one bite, and many of the “mini” lobster rolls I’ve come across are just regular lobster rolls that have been cut down to a smaller size. These can be hard to eat while standing and chatting at a party. Even the versions that have been appropriately shrunken down are often mostly bread with a small dab of minced up lobster.
When I sought out to create my own version, I had a few goals in mind:
- It had to be able to be consumed in one bite
- The bun, bread or base had to capture the essence of a buttery griddled split top roll
- The ratio of lobster to bread had to be mostly lobster to a little bit of bread
What I came up with are these delicate buttery crisps topped with roughly chopped lobster meat that has been kissed with crème fraîche for a delicate tang, and garnished with fresh chives. The result is an elegant and delicious bite that would be welcome at any party, year round.
4-8 slices Very thin white bread
2 Tablespoons salted butter
1 cup cooked lobster, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon crème fraîche
1 teaspoon chives, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove crusts from bread.
- Using a rolling pin or a pasta roller, roll your bread slices out as thin as possible.
- Cut out small rounds from bread using a small glass or biscuit cutter.
- Melt butter and brush bread rounds on both sides.
- Bake bread rounds on parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes.
- Toss lobster with crème fraîche and half a teaspoon of chives. Season with salt.
- Remove bread rounds from oven and let cool.
- Top bread rounds with lobster mixture. Garnish with chives.