Chef, Author, Restaurateur

Blue Crab Crostino

These are a favorite at Locanda Verde, our Italian restaurant downtown in TriBeCa.
Recipe Serves 6

for the garlic cream:
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
6 oz lump crab meat

for the crab toasts:
12 slices ciabata bread (or 2 slices per person)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium zucchini, cut in half and sliced thin into moon shapes (about 1 cup)
pinch salt
pinch fresh-ground black pepper
1 small can crushed tomatoes
1/2 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeds removed, and sliced thin

To make the garlic cream:
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the sliced garlic and saute, stirring constantly, over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until they’ve turned golden in the center and brown on the edges. The garlic will crisp up a bit but you don’t want to let it burn.
3. Add the heavy cream, turn up the heat to high, and let the cream boil until it’s reduced to 1/4 cup (about 7 minutes). You should have a pretty thick cream.
4. Add the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir everything together so it’s combined.
5. Put the lump crab in a small bowl, pour the cream overtop, and stir the cream completely into the crab. Check the seasoning, and add more salt, pepper, or cayenne if you think it needs it; then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside on the counter (you don’t want to cool it down).

To make the crab toasts:
1. Toast the bread so it’s crisp and golden (you can also do this on the grill if you’ve got one).
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, saute for about 30 seconds or so the zucchini is coated in the oil, and then season with the salt and pepper.
3. Keep cooking the zucchini, tossing or stirring constantly, until it’s just soft and the green color has intensified–about 90 seconds total from the time the zucchini goes in the pan.
4. Lay the toast out on a board. Spread each one with about 1 tbsp of the tomato pulp, and then lay 1 spoonful of the crab mixture overtop on each half of each piece of bread, so each piece has 2 evenly spaced mounds. Cut the toast in half (so each half has 1 lump) and then place 2 or 3 pieces of the zucchini on top of each crab mound. Add a slice or 2 of jalapeno and serve right away.

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