Crab with Heritage tomatoes, aged Parmesan and baby basil

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This classic, Italian-inspired crab and tomato recipe from Marcus Wareing features ingredients that all complement one another perfectly, making a delicious seafood starter to enjoy on a special occasion.

First published in 2015





Heritage tomatoes




Put the crab into the freezer. This should render the crab insensate – if it is resistant to being handled, has control of its limbs or reacts when its eyes or mouth are touched, leave it in the freezer until it is insensate
Once the crab is unreactive, turn it on its back and turn its tail back to reveal a small depression (usually with a hole called a vent) that covers its hind nerve centre
Place the knife tip over the vent and swiftly drive it downwards into the crab
Then find the small depression just in front of the crab’s mouth plate and behind its eyes. With the crab still on its back, drive the knife firmly into this depression to destroy the animal’s second nerve centre
Bring a large pan of fresh water to the boil, add the crab, cover and cook for 8 minutes. Remove the crab and allow to cool
Crack the claws and legs and remove the meat
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, refresh in iced water, then peel
Mix the vinegar and olive oil with a pinch of salt, mix in a bowl with the tomatoes and leave to marinate for at least an hour
  • 2 tbsp of sherry vinegar
  • 10 tbsp of olive oil
Break the bread into 2cm chunks, drizzle with oil, season lightly, then chargrill until well coloured
To assemble, cut the tomatoes in half, season and spoon over a little of the marinade. Arrange the tomatoes, crab meat and grilled bread in a bowl and sprinkle with shavings of Parmesan and basil
First published in 2015

Marcus Wareing defines his inimitable cooking style as 'not British cuisine, not French cuisine – it’s Marcus cuisine.'

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