A tasty starter to dinner or a light meal on its own: either way a tasty, nutritious recipe from David Gillick & Yvonne Keating on Celebrity MasterChef Ireland.


Crab Salad:

  • 12 large cooked crabs (yield approx1.2kg)
  • 6 - 8 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 4 sweet red apples, cut into matchsticks (unpeeled)
  • 2 - 3 bunches chives
  • 3 chillies, finely chopped
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 1 quantity mayonnaise


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 600 ml sunflower oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • quick basil oil
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil
  • generous pinch of salt

Irish soda bread toasts:

  • 750 g plain flour
  • 1.5 level teaspoons of bread soda
  • 1.5 level teaspoons salt
  • 600 ml buttermilk


Crab Salad:

  1. To prepare the crab turn the crab upside down and remove the claws and legs from the body and set aside. Pull away the pointed plate or "apron" from the body. Grip the body and firmly pull it away from the top shell Remove the gills (dead man's fingers) by pulling off the body.
  2. Cut the body in two and, using the picks, remove the meat from the nooks and crannies. The crab liver (yellowish green) is edible and delicious and can be stirred into the dressing if liked.
  3. Crack the claws with a mallet or the back of a heavy knife and remove the meat
  4. discarding the cartilage in the centre. Use only enough force to crack the shell to avoid getting pieces of shell in the meat.
  5. Continue in the same way to remove the meat from the legs. When finished, pick through the meat carefully one more time to check for shell.
  6. Repeat as necessary. Remove all the crab meat from the shells and into another bowl. Pick through the meat to make sure no shell remains. Toss the apple matchsticks with the lemon juice.
  7. To the bowl of crab meat add in the finely diced celery, lemon zest, chilli (according to taste) and apple matchsticks.
  8. Gently fold in enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together (120-150ml)


  1. Place egg yolks in a glass bowl and set on a damp cloth to steady it.
  2. Add the mustard, pinch of salt and tsp of the lemon juice and whisk together. With the oil in a jug, slowly add drop by drop whisking continuously. Keep adding drops making sure each drop is incorporated before adding the next drop. When half the oil has been used you can add in a thin steady stream to speed up the process.
  3. Season with salt and ground white pepper and add the rest of the lemon juice to taste.
  4. If the mayonnaise is a little too thick, thin with a little warm water.

Quick Basil Oil:

  1. Chop the basil and put in a blender with the oil and salt. Blend until puréed. Allow to stand for 20 mins and put through a fine, cheesecloth lined strainer pressing gently to extract the oil.

Irish Soda Bread Toasts:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200c /190c fan. Sift the flour, salt and bread soda into a large bowl and combine. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk. Mix well together and shape into 2 sausage shapes approx. 30cm long. Do not overwork the dough.
  2. Place on a well floured baking sheet and flatten both to look like a ciabatta loaves.
  3. Score 5-6 slashes diagonally on each top and bake for 25-35 mins until golden brown and baked through.
  4. The base should sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool completely.
  5. To serve: place quenelles of the crab salad on a plate and dress with micro leaves. Drizzle with basil oil and serve with the soda bread toasts.