Portuguese White Gazpacho with Crab

Crab is a favorite shellfish of the Portuguese, and one of the most famous dishes is santola no carro–a creamy crab salad served in its shell. This gazpacho recipe, from my friend and chef Fausto Airoldi, takes all those flavors and plunks them in the middle of this lesser-known but utterly refreshing soup.–David Leite

Portuguese White Gazpacho Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • For the white gazpacho
  • 1 1/2 cups 3/4-inch cubes of day-old rustic white bread, crust removed
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces) unsalted blanched whole almonds
  • 1 small fennel bulb (about 6 ounces), stalks and core removed, bulb chopped; reserve a few of the frilly fronds for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 seedless English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • Leaves from 4 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the crab salad
  • 1 1/2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over and drained well
  • 1/2 small carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or tawny Port
  • 1 teaspoon Piri-Piri Sauce, or store-bought hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup plain Maionese de Leite, or more if needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups tender baby salad greens (optional)

Directions

  • 1. To make the white gazpacho, soak the bread cubes in cold water until softened, about 5 minutes. Squeeze dry with your hands.
  • 2. Toss the almonds into a blender and pulse into a fine powder. Drop in the fennel, onion, cucumber, oregano, and 1 1/2 cups water and buzz on high until liquefied. Add the wet bread, oil, and vinegar and whir again until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Put the blender canister, covered, in the fridge for 3 hours, or up to 6 hours.
  • 3. Meanwhile, toss together the crab, carrot, celery, brandy, and piri-piri sauce in a small bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
  • 4. When ready to serve, fold the maionese de leite into the crab mixture and season with salt and pepper. If you want it a bit creamier, plop in another tablespoon or so of the maionese.
  • 5. Whir the gazpacho in the blender for a few seconds to froth it again. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and pour it into a pitcher. Make a small bed of greens in the center of chilled bowls, top with the crab, and poke in a bit of fennel frond. Place the bowls in front of your guests and pour the gazpacho around the crab.
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Comments
Comments
  1. This looks like one of the most appealing recipes I’ve seen in a long time! Looking forward to trying it sometime soon. I love ajo blanco (cold garlic and almond soup). and I love basically anything with crab… I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      We’re sure, too, Lauren! But we’d also like to hear from you when you have made it…

  2. Leisha says:

    This tastes like a brand new spring day when all your dreams are coming true. Like detoxing your soul. Like finding the missing. This recipe thinks your’re great. You should make this probably right now.

    • David Leite says:

      Leisha, I’m gobsmacked! I, too, love this recipe, and my guests always ask for it. So it’s delightful to see someone else loving it as much as I do.

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