Look out for this naturally delicious food, especially if you are at the seaside. It needs very little embellishment and is available from sustainable sources all year round in the UK but is especially good from May to November.
Buy crab ready cooked and either dressed or removed from its shell (unless you are an expert) from a reputable source. Both the brown and white meat are nutritious and full of flavour – get some of each if you can.
Freshly boiled crabmeat will keep very well in the fridge for as much as 3 days but it’s best to eat it as soon as possible after you have bought it. You can freeze it, but it loses a lot of flavour in the process. Honestly, it’s best to eat it fresh or not at all.
Crab Dip – enough for 2 as a first course
Gently stir about 100g of flaked cooked white crab meat and a little of the brown meat as well if you have it, into 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise together with some finely chopped parsley or coriander or dill and the finely grated zest of half a lemon or lime. Eat it with toast (and butter if you like) or crostini see Reduce waste – Crostini, croutons and breadcrumbs
Crab with Linguine (for 4)
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
A one-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped or grated (optional)
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
A tiny pinch of dried chilli flakes (tiny because they tend to be very hot indeed)
The finely grated zest or juice from a medium lemon or lime
200g cooked crabmeat – white and brown if possible
125g cooked peas
The leaves from a small bunch of parsley or coriander, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Set the linguine to cook in plenty of salted boiling water. Whilst the pasta is cooking, set a pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the garlic and (if using) the ginger and let the mixture sizzle in the butter for 2 minutes. Stir in the spring onions, chilli flakes and the lemon or lime zest and cook for about a minute more. Lower the heat and stir in the crab, peas and parsley or coriander (but keep some back to finish the dish) and let the whole lot heat through gently. When the linguine is done, stir 3 or 4 tablespoons of the cooking water into the crab mixture, drain the linguine and stir the whole lot together in whichever pan is big enough to hold it all.
Serve the food on warm plates with some olive oil dripped over it and some of the reserved parsley or coriander on the top.