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Herbed Parmesan Crab Cakes with Fresh Tomatoes Recipe


Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

If you harvested a delicious crop of tomatoes from your garden this season, find use for the juicy fruit (or is it vegetable?) atop restaurant-quality crab cakes you can make at home.

Premium crabmeat is the key to a good crab cake.You don’t need all lump crabmeat—any good crabmeat free of shell and cartilage will do, notes Leslie Glover Pendleton, the author of Simply Shellfish, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. For extra color use a red and a yellow tomato for the topping. You can make these up to eight hours ahead of cooking time so if you are entertaining you will be one step ahead of the game.

​Herbed Parmesan Crab Cakes with Fresh Tomatoes 

Makes 4 Servings

14 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dijon mustard 
12 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon 
12 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese 
12 saltine crackers, crushed
12 pound fine-quality crabmeat 
2 tomatoes 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
12 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons butter 

In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, egg, mustard, scallion, tarragon, pepper and parmesan. Add crackers and crab and fold mixture together gently with a rubber spatula to avoid breaking up crab chunks. 

Press mixture into 4 patties and chill them on a plate, covered, for 1 to 8 hours. 

Dice tomatoes and transfer with juices to a bowl. Stir in lemon juice and basil and let rest at room temperature. 

When ready to cook crab cakes, heat oil and butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot and the bubbling subsides. Add crab cakes and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Serve the cakes topped with tomato mixture. 

Nutrition info (per serving): Calories 367 (258 from fat); Fat 29g (sat.8g); choL 130mg; sodium 569mg; Carb 12g; Fiber 2g; Protein 16g

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