If you have ever had the pleasure of foraging for urchin in tidal pools, you know that sea urchin needs no bells and whistles to be considered the most decadent treasure of the sea. It has the consistency of custard, with a briny undertone. When my husband and I go out for sushi, we order Uni (Sea Urchin) last, as our dessert. A common misperception is that part of the urchin that we eat is the roe (the eggs) of the mollusk, but in fact, you are eating the organs that produce the roe…Yup, them’s the gonads.
Oh come on, you’ve eaten worse.
Sea urchin and butter go hand in hand, often mixed together and smeared on a thick slice of bread (I highly recommend this, though it cannot be considered a salad by any stretch of the imagination). For this recipe, I poached the Steuben beans in butter and broth, with a bit of fresh tarragon tossed on at the end. The yellow eye beans are smooth and creamy on their own, but with the added richness of the butter they are the perfect compliment to the sea urchin. I off-set this hedonistic flavor profile with the bitter greens and sweet lemon dressing. Or, you can just buy yourself a pile of uni and eat it with some some sea salt and call it a day. Your call.