Mediterranean Crab Cakes w/ Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette

Makes 12-14 (2-3 oz each) crab cakes


Tzatziki Sauce

  • 35.3 oz container Greek yogurt
  • 5 English cucumbers
  • 3 heads garlic
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Avocado Relish

  • 4 avocados, chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • kernels of 1 ear of grilled sweet corn
  • 1 bunch basil, chiffonade (cut into thin ribbons)
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest & juice of 2 lemons
  • salt & pepper

Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette

  • 2 cups mixed-color heirloom tomatoes (about 5-6), chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Crab Cakes

  • 1 head of fennel, minced
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest & juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup capers, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 lbs crab meat (pick through in case of shells)
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • extra virgin olive oil for cooking

Dredging Mixture

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup mixed herbs (parsley, mint, basil), chopped

Special Equipment

  • food processor


Make Tzatziki

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Cut one head of garlic in half and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Wrap in foil and bake 45 minutes until caramelized and tender. Set aside and let cool
  4. Peel cucumbers and remove seeds with a spoon
  5. Using a food processor with grating attachment or a box grater, grate all cucumbers
  6. Strain cucumber moisture using a cheese cloth or towel
  7. Place grated cucumber in a bowl and add everything except yogurt. Let sit for 5 minutes. (Basically, you are seasoning the cucumber to get the flavor started)
  8. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of the cooled heads of garlic into a large bowl
  9. Whisk in yogurt, liquids, seasonings and herbs, stir in grated cucumber and chill until use

Make Avocado Relish

  1. Chop avocado into cubes and toss with all other relish ingredients
  2. Chill until use

Make Tomato Vinaigrette

  1. In a blender, add tomatoes, basil, chives, garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper
  2. Blend until the mixture reaches a thick, salsa-like texture
  3. Slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until and blend until ingredients are well mixed
  4. Check seasonings and add more salt and pepper if necessary

Shape, Dredge & Cook Crab Cakes

  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in saute pan over medium heat and sweat onions, fennel, celery and garlic until soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes
  2. When everything is tender, add capers and lemon zest. Deglaze with lemon juice
  3. Shut off heat and set aside and let cool
  4. When mixture is cooled, add to a medium-sized bowl and mix in the rest of ingredients together except crab meat and breadcrumbs
  5. Lastly, gently fold in the crab meat and breadcrumbs until it just comes together
  6. Form cakes to desired size (2-3 oz), place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour
  7. Combine all dredge ingredients in small bowl
  8. When cakes are properly chilled and firm enough to work with, brush each cake with a little extra virgin olive oil
  9. Dredge each cake in the in panko-herb mixture
  10. Saute each cake for 2-3 minutes per side, just until golden brown
  11. Remove to a plate and top with Tzatziki Sauce and Avocado Relish and a drizzle of Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette