Ingredients

  • 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)

Method

  • 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.