Crab with celeriac and apple salad

Crab with celeriac and apple salad

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

Crab meat is superb in the autumn, when apples and celeriac are also at their best. This is a lovely simple dish, with a complex blend of flavours. Try to get hold of live crab – it really does make all the difference and it’s fun to prepare!


Quantity Ingredient
2 live brown crabs

Celeriac and apple salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 small celeriac
4 celery sticks
1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise, see mustard variation
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Shallot and apple dressing

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons Red wine shallots, see white wine variation
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
100ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
small handful watercress


  1. Place the crabs in the freezer for an hour before cooking. To cook them, bring a large pan of water to the boil and season it with a lot of salt (make it very salty). Plunge the crabs into the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. As soon as the crabs are cooked, lift them out onto a tray and leave until cool enough to handle.
  2. Prepare the crabs, extracting all the white meat from the body, claws and legs, and the brown meat from the top shell. Don’t forget to discard the dead man’s fingers, stomach sac and hard membranes from the body.
  3. When you have extracted all the crab meat, go through it carefully a couple of times with your fingers to check for fragments of shell and cartilage. You can refrigerate your crab meat or freeze it at this point, but I prefer to eat it straight away.
  4. To prepare the salad, peel and slice the celeriac, then cut into thin strips, the size of matchsticks. De-string the celery and cut into similar-sized strips. Toss the celeriac, celery, grated apple and chives together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Put to one side.
  5. For the dressing, in a bowl, mix together the shallots, diced apple, chives, lemon juice and rapeseed oil and season with salt to taste.
  6. Spoon the crab meat neatly onto 4 plates and pile the celeriac salad alongside. Drizzle over a few spoonfuls of the dressing and finish with some watercress. Serve the rest of the dressing in a bowl on the side.
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