In Venice, crab (granceola) is almost always served in the shell, the sweet meat needing just parsley, olive oil and lemon juice as flavourings. If you don’t want to cook crabs, ask your fishmonger for crab shells and stuff them with store-bought crab meat.
- 4 (about 1.2 kg) spanner crab (see note)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ lemons, juice only
- To serve: coarse sea salt and lemon cheeks
- 1Cook crab in boiling, salted water until cooked through and shell turns bright orange (15-20 minutes). Drain and allow to cool.
- 2To remove the crab meat, lift the triangular flap underneath the crab that attaches to the top shell. Lift top shell away from body, wash and dry and set aside. Clean out the gills and coral, and discard. Remove crab meat from body and claws, discarding shells (except top shells). You should have about 650gm of crab meat.
- 3Season crab meat generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add parsley, olive oil and lemon juice and stir to combine. Divide mixture between reserved top shells. Spread coarse sea salt on a serving platter, arrange crab shells on top and serve with lemon cheeks to the side.
Spanner crabs are available at select fishmongers. Their particularly sweet meat is very similar to the spider crabs commonly used in Venice. If unavailable, you can substitute with mud crabs.
Drink Suggestion: Dry Gavi. Drink suggestion by Max Allen