Keeping a crab salad simple is the key. We like to use a combination of crab and very finely sliced vegetables prepared on a mandoline. We boil and pick our crab twice a day for each service – for us this is crucial. The flavour of crab will deteriorate by the hour losing just that bit of sweetness as time goes by. It needs nothing doing to it. First buy a good lively crab and dispatch it by turning it over, lifting the flap underneath then driving a screwdriver through the hole that is in the centre – the crab dies instantly. Then bring a pan of heavily salted water to the boil and drop it in and boil for 12–15 minutes then remove and stand the crab on its nose to allow it to drain and cool completely.
You Will Need
Using a mandoline, slice the celery and cucumber extremely thinly crossways, then do the same with the fennel but top to bottom. Place the vegetables in a bowl with the tarragon leaves, season with a little salt, then add a drop or two of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss together then add enough white crabmeat to be dominant, taste, add more seasoning, oil or lemon juice as necessary to your taste.
To serve place a tablespoon of the brown crabmeat on a plate then lift out the salad in small handfuls and place on top. Serve with a spoonful of mayonnaise on the side.