Musing with Max

Musing with Max

July 29, 2013


I'm not sure if we're at the midpoint of Summer yet. Not likely, that will probably be sometime during the second week of August but if it keeps going like this we'll be summered out by then. It took a little while to get here, what with the no Spring and all, but once it did it hit with a vengeance. The heat has been brutal to say the least with what seemed to be endless weeks of 90F + temperatures and high humidity; rather uncomfortable if you ask me. The air conditioning hasn't taken a breath which scares me a bit, and Max seems to have one position he wants to be in...all the time.

I think you get my drift. It's HOT. The plants seem to be doing well though, the herbs are just taking over

and the pots on the front porch can't contain themselves

and since there's been little rain along with extreme heat the grass doesn't grow, which makes Frank a happy man

even if he doesn't look it here. Then last week something happened...the temperatures plunged by 30 degrees one night and the next day was downright pleasant and then it happened again the next night and the next day and for two glorious days of perfect weather the air conditioners took a much needed rest and we opened the windows and slept like Max usually does.
But then it remembered that it was July and the heat returned and we have to find ways to keep cool, so

Frank's awesome sangria really hits the spot and goes well with some really cool food, like

Crab with Crisp Bitter Greens adapted from The New York Times Magazine


  • 1 Belgian endive
  • 1 head chicory
  • 3 cups arugula (roughly 3 handfuls)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pound crab meat (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (approximately 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 pinch Maldon or other flaky sea salt


Separate the endive leaves, then slice them lengthwise as thinly as you can. Soak the sliced endive in a big bowl of ice water. Meanwhile, remove the outer leaves of the chicory and reserve for another use. Wash four big handfuls of the tender inner chicory leaves. Tear them into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl of ice water. Wash the arugula and add it to the ice water. Set aside for at least 10 minutes, or until ready to use.
Make the aioli. Put egg yolk, garlic and 2 tablespoons lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Slowly emulsify with 1 cup of the extra-virgin olive oil. If at any point the aioli becomes super glossy or the oil begins to bead, add a drop of ice water, then continue to stream in the oil. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
Season crab with 1 tablespoon aioli, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add diced jalapeño. Set aside.
Drain the greens, then spin dry using a salad spinner. Transfer them to a large bowl. Dress with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss thoroughly, and adjust seasoning to taste.
Scatter about 1/4 cup of the dressed crab meat on each plate (a scant 1/4 cup). Place a layer of greens atop the crab and then a little more crab again. Finish each plate with a dollop of aioli on the side and a sprinkle of Maldon or other flaky sea salt on top.

4 to 6 servings

I feel better already.

1 comment:

  1. Your words and Max's pictures are the perfect summery of this summer. It's a weird one. Your plants are lush and the sangria and crab look delicious!