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Crab and Asparagus Salad

This delicious recipe was given to me by Kerry as a great idea for a lockdown lunch - thanks Kerry. Strangely, even when there were masses of shortages, those little tubs of crab meat were still available. This recipe makes a great lunch or starter on a toasted slice of bread and also makes a tasty little canapé in a little filo case. What is more, as English asparagus is in season it is a great time to give it a try.

Ingredients - makes about 25 canapes or serves 2/3 for lunch or a starter

I tub white crab meat (I use Seafood and Eat It)

3 tbsp mayonnaise

Zest of one lemon

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1/2 tbs chopped chives

1 small gherkin chopped

1/2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped

Asparagus or asparagus spears

For the canapé version:

Filo pastry

For the starter/lunch version

2/3 pieces of speciality bread

Rocket, optional


For the canapes:

Cut the filo sheet into strips 4.5 cms wide and then cut the strips to make squares, each measuring around 4.5 x 4.5 cms. Oil the squares. Keep the pastry well covered with cling film while you are working.

Press a square gently into a mini tartlet tin and top with another filo square, placed at a different angle. Brush with some more oil or melted butter. Continue until the tin is filled. Take care to keep filo covered when not working with it. It dries out very quickly.

Cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes at 180°c. Bake until golden brown, but watch the filo cases don’t burn, they overcook very easily.

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight tin. They will keep for several days, so can be made well ahead.

Lightly steam the asparagus. Keeping the spear of each asparagus separate, cut 2 asparagus stalks into small pieces. (Keep the remaining asparagus stalks for another salad, its too delicious to waste).

Mix the mayonnaise with the other ingredients and gently fold in the crab meat. Season to taste.

If serving immediately, simply spoon the crab salad into the filo cases and decorate with a halved asparagus spear or two. To make the asparagus stretch further, use one spear and one piece of stalk on top of each canapé.

To serve later, cut lettuce circles to fit inside each filo case. Fill the lettuce circles with the crab salad and add the asparagus spears on top. Store in the fridge. Then to serve, gently spoon the lettuce circles into the filo cases and eat.

For lunch or a starter, toast the bread (a specialty bread is best, sourdough, ciabatta etc) and pile the crab salad on top. Decorate with the lightly steamed asparagus spears and perhaps some rocket if you have some.

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