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I grew up in a kosher household, and still get a thrill though every time I eat crab, even though I started eating shellfish long ago. I just love the delicate and slightly sweet flavor. Here, I’ve paired it with the last of summer’s tomatoes and basil, which literally melt into the risotto. I opted for claw meat, which is substantially less expensive than lump, but use whatever kind you prefer. You could even use dungeness or king crab, if they’re available to you.

A few notes: though this recipe can be customized based on the season and availability, risotto should the star of the show and not overwhelmed by the other ingredients. Also, while not difficult, this recipe isn’t for the faint if heart since it takes a little while. Finally, risotto should spread on the plate when served, so make sure you have plenty of stock on hand.

Makes four servings.


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups of risotto
1 quart seafood stock (chicken or vegetable stock would work fine too), heated on stove top
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups of packed basil, slivered
1 pound crab meat (I used claw)
2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 cup Parmesan
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from half a lemon or so)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot set over medium-low heat. When oil is shimmering, add the shallots and garlic. Sauté til soft and translucent, taking care not to let the garlic burn.

3. When shallots and garlic are soft, add risotto and lightly toast. Add salt and pepper.

4. Ladle enough stock into the pot to cover all ingredients. Stir every minute or so, until all the liquid is totally incorporated.

5. Repeat this process until risotto is tender.

6. When the risotto is soft, stir in the crab and tomatoes and cook for another two minutes.

7. Remove pot from heat and stir in basil, lemon juice and cheese. Adjust seasonings as needed, them transfer to bowls and serve.

7. Garnish with parsley and serve.