A fresh and unusual take on salad, Langoustine tail salad with white beans has no salad greens in it. The dominant color of gourmet easy healthy recipes dish is a rosy pink from the vinaigrette bisque. Diced tomatoes give it a red hue while sprinkled diced carrots give it orange highlights. The white beans dressed in mayonnaise provide a creamy complement, while the trickle of truffles and a spattering of chives complete the luscious easy desserts presentation. This is a rare starter that can be made even more phenomenal if served with a glorious glass of Sancerre or Chablis.
Chef Jean Andre Charial makes a splendid sauce out of the shells and heads of the Langoustine to add to the vinaigrette made of red cherry vinegar and olive oil. Unlike most salads where the salad dressing is only drizzled on the dish, the vegetables and meat are swimming in a generous amount of pink langoustine-vinaigrette dressing in this case. Instead of mixing all the ingredients together, the diced tomatoes dressed in olive oil are layered with the cooked white beans dressed in mayonnaise so that their flavors and textures remain distinct with every bite. The juicy flesh of the langoustine tails fried in olive oil absorb the flavors of the langoustine bisque vinaigrette providing an out-of-the-ordinary gustatory pleasure.
Ingredients: 1 bunch basil, ½ lb. carrots, 2 tomatoes, 12 prawns, 2 oz. pine nuts, 2/3 oz. truffles, 3 2/3 lbs. butterbeans, mayonnaise with a shallot
Court bouillon: 1/3 lb. celery, ½ lb. carrots, 1 garlic head, 1 onion, thyme, laurel, pepper, salt
Vinaigrette: 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon mustard, 3 tablespoons Xeres vinegar, salt, pepper, 3 spoons olive oil, 5/6 cups crayfish reduction
Separate the body of the Langoustine from the tails and take off the shells. Set the meat aside and crush the shells with a pounder or pestle to release its flavors. Cook the crushed head and shells on a saucepan with a little drop of olive oil. Add the vegetables: carrots, onions, and leaks. Add local/Provencal red wine, fish stock, and cook for half an hour. When the sauce is reduced, pour through a strainer on a bowl. This liquid will be used for making the salad dressing. Make Vinaigrette with cherry vinegar and olive oil (one spoon of vinegar for three spoons of olive oil). Mix the dressing with the langoustine juice and season with salt and pepper. Dress the diced tomatoes with olive oil and set aside. Dress the white beans with mayonnaise and shallots and set aside. Fry the langoustine tails in olive oil and place on napkin or paper for oils to be absorbed. Arrange on a plate. Use circular mold to make a layer of the tomato, followed by the beans, and a piece of langoustine on top. Pour sauce around the dish and place bits of the remaining langoustine around. Sprinkle truffles and decorate with diced carrots and chives.
Also known as Dublin bay prawn or Norway lobster, and sometimes Scampi, langoustine is a popular crustacean in Europe but not widely consumed in the United States. Its body shape is similar to the lobster but is slimmer in size. If langoustine is not available, you can still make this recipe and substitute with other seafood such as lobster, crayfish or prawns. You can also substitute white beans with other legumes such as butterbeans, cannellini, or navy beans.