Fresh Crab on Toast

These beauties came from usually a restaurant in Covent Garden. They, like others, are coping with the current Covid-19 crisis by turning the restaurant into a shop and selling fresh fish, seafood, free-range meat, fruit and veg from their trusted suppliers as well as a range of deli products and vital provisions. They deliver to many London postcodes and the M4 corridor; order before 6pm for same day processing and fix delivery, minimum order £40. I am happy to pick crab myself (tips and advice in The Fish Store), discarding the crepey dead man’s fingers in the body and cracking the hard shells with a measured bash with an old rolling pin. With mayo, a green salad and oven chips, this is a Desert Island dinner.

This, though, is a favourite fail-safe standby, as perfect for an indulgent treat as it is for a dinner party starter. (for stockists) sell useful 100g packs of brown or white meat and useful fifty fifty packs; a layer of brown topped with white. I used one for this luscious way of dressing crab, with lemon juice, olive oil, red chilli and flat leaf parsley. Sourdough or pugliese toast is best for this, but I also like brown toasted split pitta and quickly fried tortilla. Serve alone, with watercress or this finely sliced cucumber pickle.

Serves 2
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 5 min

½ (half) cucumber
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp white sugar
2cm red chilli
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
50g white crab
50g brown crab
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
2 slices sourdough bread

Both crab and pickle keep perfectly in the fridge for 48 hours. Finely slice the cucumber as if making crisps. Spread out and dust with salt. Leave for at least 15 mins, preferably 60. Rinse and squeeze dry. Stir the sugar into the vinegar then fold in the cucumber. Transfer to a jar, cover and chill. Finely chop the chilli, scraping away seeds. Whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil, stir in chilli, both types of crab and parsley. Toast and butter the bread, pile with crab, cut into quarters and serve with cucumber (or not).