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Crab and Endive Salad with Creamy Cognac Dressing


To impress a date, Michael Romano, executive chef at Manhattan's Union Square Cafe, would add a touch of drama to his romantic menu by mixing this dish at tableside, "like an old-fashioned waiter."

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  1. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  2. 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon Cognac
  5. 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1/2 tablespoon snipped chives, plus more for garnish
  7. 1/2 tablespoon coarsely chopped tarragon
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. Pinch of cayenne
  10. 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  11. 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  12. 1 large Belgian endive, 6 outer leaves reserved, the rest thinly sliced crosswise
  13. 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the mustard, lemon juice, Cognac and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper and the cayenne.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the celery and cook over moderately high heat until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Spread the celery on a plate and refrigerate until chilled.
  3. In a medium bowl, gently toss the sliced endive with the crabmeat, celery and Cognac dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 endive leaves on each plate. Spoon the crab salad in the center, garnish with chives and serve.