I had every intention of making this dish with favas, but haven’t seen any at the farmer’s market or the store just yet. Knowing the little to no patience that exists within me, and the fact I was able to score some fresh english peas, I went ahead and made this dish anyways. The very first time eating fresh peas was at Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo. Peas and pancetta. Classic, simple Italian cooking, and it was by far my favorite and most memorable part of that meal.
King crab is a rare treat in our home because it’s pricey, but oh so delicious. We usually eat crab right out of the shell with some fresh squeezed lemon or cocktail sauce, but I wanted to create a recipe with lots of veggies, but showcasing the crab at the same time. This was the perfect time to splurge.
One night, a long time ago, after pouring numerous beers, bourbon, and margaritas, a small plate of king crab legs appeared behind the bar. How did all of this deliciousness show up? None of the bar guests ordered it…
Brock was a pro at cutting crab legs from working in the restaurant kitchen. It just so happens that small plate of crab legs sitting behind the bar was a little treat from the kitchen by a special someone. Guess he had me at crab.
Crab with Peas and Mint
pea saute adapted from Giada at Home
1 pound king crab legs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 teaspoon dried thyme
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the crab legs and cook for about 5 minutes until the meat is warmed through. Drain and cool the crab legs for about 5 minutes. Break apart the crab legs at the joints. Using kitchen shears, cut a slit down each side of the crab legs. Remove the meat from the shells. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, red peppers, peas, lima beans, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until veggies are softened. Turn off the heat. Add the mint and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with crab meat. Serve with lemon wedges.