Maryland Crab Tart

With Cucumber, Cilantro and
Broken Cumin Vinaigrette


  • 6 oz. Jumbo Lump crabmeat, picked clean of cartlilage
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp. thinly sliced chives
  • 1 tbsp. chopped shallots
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 oz. extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for molds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sugar
  • 4 tbsp. Cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-in dice
  • 1/2 oz. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches micro-cilantro, for garinish

Broken Cumin Vinaigrette:

  • 7 oz. balsmic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 oz. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1 tsp. chives, finely sliced
  • 1 small pinch curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Prepare tarts: Combine the crab, mayonaisse, thyme, chives , shallots, lemon juice and 2tbsp. olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Season the crab mixture with salt, pepper, and a pinch or two of sugar.
  2. In a second bowl, toss cucumbers with rice wine vinegar and salt to taste. Refrigerate Both bowls until ready to serve
  3. Prepare Broken Cumin Vinaigrette: Simmer the Balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to 2 oz. (1/4 cup).
  4. Place cumin seeds in a small saute pan and toast over high heat until lightly browned and fragrant. about 2 min.
  5. Coarsely crack th cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. (Or place them on a cutting board, cover them with the bottom of a saucepan, crush them by pressing down firmly.)
  6. Combine the vinegar, cumin seeds, and the remaining ingredients in a small boul, whisking only a few times to incorporate. The vinaigrette should not be smooth and emulsified, but "broken" with visible droplets of vinegar suspended in the oil.
  7. At serving time, check both the crab and cucumber mixture for seasoning and adjust if needed. Lightly brush the inside of two 2 1/2-by 11/2 in ring molds with olive oil. drain the cucumbers of any excess liquid.
  8. Put each ring mold in the center of the plate. Place2 tbsp. of th cucumber mixture in each ring mold. Spoon half the crabmeat over the cucumbers in each mold and press down gently. Carefully remove the molds.
  9. Spoon 1tsp. of the vinaigrette around each tart, being careful to leave the vinaigrette "broken" by not stirring to much. Garnish tarts with a few cilantro leaves and serve. Yields: 2 first -course servings.