Oven Roasted Crab "Buon Natale"
Perfect for Christmas Eve!
- 4 (1 to 1 1/2 pound) Dungeness crabs or 2 (2 pound) crabs, cooked, cleaned
- 1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 4 to 5 lemons)
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Lemon slices or wedges, for garnish
- 4 to 8 slices crusty bread, toasted, rubbed with garlic cloves and drizzled with olive oil
Crack and clean the crab. Set aside.
Put a rack in the middle or lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
On the stove, in a large oven-proof saute pan or casserole, heat the butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme, and lemon zest over medium-high heat until hot. Add crab pieces and season with salt, pepper, to taste, and mix well. Put the pan in the oven and cook until the crab is hot throughout and the garlic is golden brown. (Watch carefully; the crab heats very quickly and at 500 degrees F the garlic can burn easily.) Remove the crab from the oven, drizzle with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and scatter the parsley over the top.
To serve, stack the crab on a platter. Garnish the platter with lemon wedges and slices of garlic-rubbed toast. Serve immediately.