crab cakes, fresh tomato sauce; scapes; baby greens


I cannot say enough about these crab cakes as a concept!   They’re not only delicious, but also incredibly simple to prepare, can be quickly put onto the table, and, possibly most importantly – at least for people like ourselves – extremely useful they are when the cook is unable to go outside foraging for a dinner entrée.

The last item in that list of virtues assumes that the package had been kept frozen in the freezer, but defrosted in time for a quick sauté.  I don’t know how long it takes a package of two crab cakes to defrost in the refrigerator, but I usually manage to have the foresight to move them there before going to bed the night before I expect to serve them.

The crab cakes I use, pre-cooked and packaged in twos, are from the PE & DD Seafood stand, which can be found in the Union Square Greenmarket on both Saturdays and Mondays, and I usually pick up a package on my every visit.

I neglected to mention one other virtue of this particular form of this particular order of decapoda:  Crabs can be difficult, but this represents certainly the most accessible way – by far – to enjoy one of the most supremely delicious kinds of seafood available.

An interesting aspect of putting together a dinner with crab cakes is that, at least in my own experience, it inspires improvisation in the sauce or condiment, and welcomes creativity in the treatment of the vegetables which will share the plate, including the assembly of things which are not normally combined, or even featured as sides.

  • crab cakes from PE & DD Seafood (ingredients: crab, egg, flour, red & green peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, celery, parsley), heated in a heavy iron pan, three or four minutes to each side, served on top of a fresh tomato sauce composed of the tomatoes set aside after I had made ‘tomato water’ for a tautog fillet a few nights earlier
  • mixed baby greens from Lani’s Farm, dressed with good olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper
  • small, tender garlic scapes from Lucky Dog Organic, cut into approximately one-inch lengths, sautéed, seasoned, sprinkled with a little bit of torn Full Bloom Market Garden basil from Whole Foods and spearmint from Phillips Farm
  • the wine was an Argentinian white, Guenguenheim Valle EscondidoTorrontés 2014
  • the music was Bach’s Orchestral Suites