If using the crab shells, scrub them clean, dry well and arrange upside down on a baking tray.
- 450 g brown and white meat from 2-3 cooked fresh crabs (reserving the crab shells)
- 100 g soft white breadcrumbs
- 150 ml white sauce
- 2 tblsp tomato chutney or tomato relish
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard or a generous pinch of dry mustard powder
- 75 g butter (melted)
- salt and pepper
- 100 g white breadcrumbs
- for the tomato and basil salad
- 8 vine-ripened tomatoes (using one variety or a mixture)
- pinch of caster sugar
- good squeeze of lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- small handful of basil leaves (larger leaves torn)
- If using the crab shells, scrub them clean, dry well and arrange upside down on a baking tray.
- Alternatively, place the ramekins or small dishes on the tray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the crab meat, breadcrumbs, white sauce, chutney or relish, vinegar, mustard and 25g of the melted butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the mixture into the crab shells or ramekins.
- In a separate bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs with the remaining butter and sprinkle over the crab mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through and browned on top. Briefly place under a preheated grill if necessary, to crisp up the crumbs.
- In the meantime, prepare the salad.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters or 1cm (1/2 in) slices.
- Spread out in a single layer on a large flat plate and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.
- Add the lemon juice, drizzle over the olive oil and scatter with the basil leaves and toss gently together.
- Serve the baked crab with the tomato salad and some fresh crusty bread on the side.
More by Rachel Allen:
- Steak and watercress bearnaise
- Ivan's chinese crispy mackerel pancakes
- Smocked haddock and cockle soup