Crab, fennel, chilli flake and lemon bruschetta – an uplifting lunch for the start of the new school year

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School started again today for big A, so it was a return to the old routine of getting up early – although at the moment we have no problem there as the jet lag hasn’t completely worn off as yet.

After a breakfast treat of crepes with ham, cheese and eggs – for the girls, not me I might add, we did the school run. All morning whilst little Z and I were busying ourselves I was looking forward to trying out a recipe that I recently spotted in the Australian food magazine ‘Gourmet Traveller’. If you have not come across the magazine before I urge you to take a look at their website at the very least. The fusion of food and travel appealed to me and I thought that the articles were well written and interesting and the photographs stunning. Australia is approaching spring and of course we are heading towards autumn, so perhaps their recipes are slightly out of sink with what us Brits would be thinking about cooking. That said this recipe appealed to me greatly and I felt that it could easily bridge the seasons.

It’s an ideal snack, light lunch or starter and would go down nicely with a glass of crisp white wine. The combination of crab, fennel, lemon and chilli flakes is sublime and the fact that it is easy to prepare further adds to its appeal. I think you will agree this one is a winner.


Crab, fennel, chilli flakes and lemon bruschetta

Adapted from ‘Gourmet Traveller’

Serves 4

Sour dough loaf, sliced

120g tin of crab meat. By all means use freshly cooked crab meat if you have it to hand but I find the tinned variety reasonable and hassle free

1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tsp of chilli flakes

25 ml of olive oil

half a lemon, thinly sliced. Meyer lemon if you can get hold of them. Equally you can substitute the lemons with 2 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of finely grated rind. 

1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, halved

*  Mix the crab meat, lemon juice, fennel seeds and chilli flakes together with your hands and add the olive oil.

* Now gently add the lemon slices (or finely grated rind – see above), fennel bulb and parsley and season to taste.

* Using a griddle pan, or in my case non-stick grill plates from my sandwich and panini maker, place a couple of slices of sour dough bread on the plates for approximately a minute. If you are using a griddle pan, turn the bread only once. Repeat until you have toasted enough bread for your needs.

* Once the bread is toasted sufficiently so that griddle lines appear, rub the cut-side of garlic onto the toast.

* Place the crab mixture on top of the toast and serve immediately.

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