Roasted summer vegetables with gluten-free crab cakes and shallot vinaigrette


Light, well-balanced and delicious. Yeah, we're shooting the moon today.

Each of these recipes stands on its own: the vegetables make a killer side alongside barbecue; the crab cakes make the best English muffin replacement in a Benedict; and that shallot vinaigrette...I should probably bottle it and sell it but I'm too lazy.

I love a charred summer vegetable – for me, this looks like asparagus, broccolini and corn, but your farmer's market might have different choices. The cooking method below will work with other mixes of vegetables of the same type – just avoid sweet potatoes or eggplants since those will need much longer to roast.

About the crab cakes: While I'm not on a gluten-free quest, the recipe below actually creates the most cohesive (and tastiest) crab cake I've ever made. It's not the most traditional cake you'll see – say "hello" to greek yogurt as a binder – but these minis are simple and quick to whip up.

Roasted summer vegetable salad

What you need

1 bunch asparagus

1 bunch broccolini

4 ears corn, kernels sliced from the cob

Salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

How to do it

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Chop off dry ends from asparagus and broccolini and saw corn kernels from the cob.

Place vegetables on a sheet pan. Drizzle vegetables with about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, or until thoroughly coated. Season generously with salt and pepper, and place in oven.

Roast at 400-degrees F for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the vegetables and then turn oven to a high broil. Broil for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are an even brown color. 

The vegetable salad can be served hot, at room temperature or cold. The vegetables can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. For leftovers, finely chopped the veggies and serve in an omelet, quiche, in a fried rice or stir-fry dish.

Shallot vinaigrette

What you need

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

How to do it

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, black pepper and vinegar.

Whisking constantly, drizzle the olive oil into the mixing bowl slowly until completely emulsified.  Taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve alongside vegetable salad as dipping sauce. The vinaigrette can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, and is delicious over salad, especially made with red-leaf lettuce  or romaine, and mixed into pasta salad.

Gluten-free crab cakes

What you need

1 lb lump crab meat, picked

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 tbsp whole grain mustard

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Canola oil, to cook the crab cakes

How to do it

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg, then stir in mustard, yogurt, parsley, salt and pepper. Fold in crab meat and oatmeal.

Cover the mixing bowl, and allow crab mixture to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Add a few tablespoons of oil to a large sauté pan and heat on the stove over high-heat. 

Once the oil is hot – when a droplet of water sizzles immediately when flicked into the pan – add a heaping tablespoon of crabmeat to pan to create a mini cupcake; add several more crab cakes to the pan, allowing  a few inches between each cake so you have room to flip them.

Lower heat to medium-high and cook the crab cakes on each side for 3 minutes; you'll want to see a deep brown on each side.

Once cooked, set crab cakes on a wire rack or over paper towels, and then repeat the process until you've cooked all of the crab meat.

Serve immediately. 

Leftovers will last covered 3-4 days in the fridge and can be used to make delightful sandwiches, crab cake benedict and tacos with avocado.