Black-Eyed Pea-crab Salad With Ruby Grapefruit

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 4
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1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas -- (soaked overnight), drained
1 quart ham hock broth or water
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste
4 slices bacon -- diced
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat -- (gulf coast preferred)
1 medium red bell pepper -- seeded, finely diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper -- seeded, finely diced
1 medium green bell pepper -- seeded, finely diced
1 large purple onion -- minced
3 whole scallions -- thinly sliced
1 large tomato -- seeded and diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme -- chopped
1 teaspoon fresh marigold mint or tarragon -- chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chervil -- chopped
1 cup grapefruit vinaigrette -- (separate recipe)
4 whole ruby grapefruit -- (peeled), sections removed
8 whole fresh cilantro sprigs -- for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

Place the drained black-eyed peas in a saucepan with the ham hock broth or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Toward the end of the cooking time, taste the peas and season with salt. Drain and set aside. In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until all the fat is rendered. Transfer the bacon to a large mixing bowl and add the crabmeat, vegetables, peas, and herbs. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Combine the salad with the vinaigrette. Mound the tossed salad on a large serving platter, leaving at least 2 inches around the edge of the platter. Arrange the grapefruit sections around the salad, and garnish the grapefruit sections with the cilantro springs. Chef's Notes: Chef Stephan Pyles of Star Canyon tells us that "This easy, do-ahead salad is a perfect entree for a summer lunch or picnic. Black-eyed peas, crab, and grapefruit may not exactly be an orthodox combination, but they are all staples of Texas cookery and go well together.

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