Bill Granger recipe: Crab platter with samphire and Dijon mayonnaise

Serves 4

This is the loveliest, no effort meal you could possibly prepare. I've made the mayo from scratch, but a dollop of Dijon stirred through bought mayo would also be totally acceptable. If you're dealing with live crabs, put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before plunging them into a large pan of boiling water for about 15 minutes.

200g samphire
1 tbsp olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
2 cooked crabs, each about 1kg
2 red endives, leaves separated
A few radishes, halved
Soda bread or brown sourdough, to serve

For the Dijon mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
2 tsp Dijon mustard
250ml light olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon

To remove the meat from the crab, first twist off the claws. Crack the claws open with a rolling pin or hammer and lay on a serving platter. Sit the main body of the crab on its back and twist off the pointed flap. Push the tip of a knife into the edge between the main shell and the body and twist the blade to separate.

Push the body up with your hands and remove the spongy "dead man's fingers" (the indigestible gills of the crab) and discard. Use a large knife to cut the main body in half then half again and patiently pick out the white crabmeat. Place it on the platter next to the claws. Use a teaspoon to scoop the brown meat out of the main shell and keep in the fridge for another recipe (I like to use it for pasta).

Add the cooked samphire, endive, radishes and lemon wedges to the platter with the crab. Take to the table with a bowl of mayo and some sliced bread, for everyone to help themselves.

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