Spring recipe: seared asparagus and picked crab

Spring is here, the daffodils are out, and sandals are (almost) making an appearance again.

The change in temperature is the perfect excuse to spring clean your menu and get those fresh flavours out again. We asked Luke Hawkins from The Kensington Arms in Bristol for his top spring dish.

Picked white crab

with seared asparagus and brown crab mayo


1 crab, 1-2lb

1 bunch of asparagus

Knob of butter

To garnish:

3 pickled onions and sliced watercress

For the mayo:

Brown crab meat

1tsp Ketchup

½ tsp English mustard

A splash of Lea and Perrins

A splash of Tabasco

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of Xanthan gum

Virgin rapeseed oil

Salt and cracked black pepper (fresh)


Cook the crab for 10 minutes in salted boiling water, remove from the water and leave to cool.

Remove all brown meat and keep aside for the mayo.

Pick the white meat and keep separate.

In a different pan, blanch the asparagus for 1 minute in salted boiling water and refresh in ice water.

Dress the white crab meat (at room temperature) with the juice of half a lemon, a good splash of rapeseed oil, salt and cracked black pepper.

To make the mayo:

Place the brown crab meat in a food processor with the ketchup, mustard, Lea and Perrins and Tabasco.

Blitz untill smooth, add a pinch of xanthan gum, and blitz again until well combined.

Grill the asparagus under a high heat with a knob of butter and seasoning, and finish with a squeeze of lemon and rapeseed oil (keep the cooking juices to serve).

To serve:

Place the crab meat in the bottom of a bowl with dots of the brown crab mayonnaise around the edge. Place the grilled asparagus on top and finish with dressed watercress, sliced pickled onions and asparagus cooking juices.

Top wine match:

Serve with Conde Villar's fresh and floral Alvarinho.

For more spring drinking inspiration read what we're drinking here at Bibendum this season.

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