Fennel Confit Salad with Lump Crab Meat, Grilled Peaches and Parmesan CrispsChardonnay (Santa Barbara County) / Chardonnay (Eden Valley)
Ingredients3 large peaches/nectarines
1 lb lump crab meat, picked through for any shells
2 medium shallots, minced
2 Tbsp Champagne vinegar
1 tsp honey
3 medium fennel bulbs (1 1/2 lbs), halved, cored and sliced paper thin
crosswise; save fennel frond
2/3 cup cured black olives - pitted, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
silicone pad or parchment paper
Make Parmesan Crisps:Preheat oven to 400°. Place a heaping tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese onto silicone pad or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with all of cheese.
Place in preheated oven and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes or until crispy and golden. Remove and set aside to cool.
Prepare Salad:Using a sharp knife, cut peaches in half, remove pit and cut each half into 3 slices. Put peaches in bowl and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper (lightly).
Add shallots to large mixing bowl with Champagne vinegar. Let soak for 10 minutes. Stir in olive oil and honey and season with salt and pepper.
In the meantime, add fennel slices to medium sauté pan. Pour olive oil over fennel until almost covering the fennel. (You do not want the fennel completely covered). Turn heat on medium and slowly cook fennel in olive oil for 6 minutes. You want the fennel to be slightly cooked but not wilted and soft. Using a slotted spatula, remove fennel from saucepan and drain of olive oil. Set aside on plate with paper towel to drain oil. Season slightly with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat. Place peach slices on heated grill pan and cook on both sides approximately 2-3 minutes each side. You want nice grill marks on the peaches.
Place large handful of fennel in center of plate. Scatter grilled peaches over fennel and olives over peaches. Season with salt and pepper lightly. Place Parmesan crisps in center and make it stand upright. Sprinkle minced fennel frond atop salad. Serve.