Mediterranean Salad with Crayfish, Porcini Mushrooms, Lemon, and Basil

Credit: Didier Loire
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Ingredients (4 people)

Crayfish Jus

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 celery rib
  • 6 very ripe tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 3 1/3 tablespoons Cognac (5 cl)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (10 cl)
  • 1 1/4 cups light chicken stock (30 cl)
  • 1 cup lobster stock (20 cl)
  • parsley stalks
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 2 1/4 pounds crayfish shells (1 kg)
  • 2 1/2 ounces butter, divided (70 g)
  • 1/2 lemon


Crayfish Court-Bouillon


Step 1: Crayfish Jus

Peel, wash and drain the carrot, onion, shallots and celery. Dice into an even mirepoix.

Quarter and seed the tomatoes, and crush the unpeeled garlic cloves.

Grind the crayfish shells finely. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a cast-iron pot, and sear the ground shells. Season lightly with salt, and add some butter.

Once the shells have become a light, golden brown, add the diced vegetables, garlic cloves, quartered tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Sweat for 5 minutes over a low heat, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Deglaze with the cognac and the white wine, then reduce by half, using a spatula to scrape up any caramelized juices. Add the light chicken stock, lobster stock, parsley stalks, and basil sprigs. Bring to a boil, skim, and simmer gently for 40 minutes on the edge of the range.

At the end of cooking time, remove the pot from the heat. Set the jus aside for 10 minutes, then sieve and strain through a fine-meshed chinois, pressing well to extract the maximum amount of flavor.

When ready to use, reduce slightly, and emulsify with a dab of butter and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Add a few drops of lemon juice, a pinch of fleur de sel, and some freshly ground pepper. Mix thoroughly and pour into a sauceboat.

Step 2: Mushrooms

Pick the nicest basil leaves. Wash and drain them.

Crack the fresh almonds open, remove the thick skin, then split them.

Peel and finely chop the gray shallot.

With a vegetable peeler, remove the lemon rind, leaving any pith behind. Cut the rind into 5 3/4 inch (14 cm) strips, and blanch twice starting from cold water.

Place in a small sauté pan, and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons, strained through a fine-meshed chinois, over them. Add the sugar.

Let the rinds candy for 2 hours on the edge of the range without bringing to a boil, then let cool in their juice.

Remove the dirt from the porcini mushroom stems. Brush under cold running water, drain over a perforated stainless steel sheet pan, and pat dry with a clean dishcloth.

Split them lengthwise, then cut into fine shavings 1/20 inch (1 mm) thick with a Japanese mandoline. For this recipe, use only the shavings with the stalks attached to the caps, setting the other trimmings aside for other recipes: ravioli, soups, purées, etc.

Arrange the porcini mushrooms directly on the serving dishes in a rose shape.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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