Crab Cakes with Lemon Arugula Pesto

While we will never turn down a crab cake, our favorite part of this dish is the peppery fresh arugula pesto.

Crab Cakes with Lemon Arugula Pesto
Yields: 4 servings
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby arugula, divided
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs), divided
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked free of shell
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • Steamed green beans and toasted sliced almonds, to serve
  • Garnish: chopped fresh chives
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place 3 cups arugula, ⅓ cup oil, 2 teaspoons zest, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water, and garlic; process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg, Old Bay, salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon zest. Gently stir in crabmeat and chives. Shape mixture into 8 patties. Place remaining 1½ cups bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Coat patties in bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add half of crab cakes to skillet; cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining crab cakes.
  4. Divide remaining arugula among 4 serving plates. Top with crab cakes. Stir pesto, and drizzle over crab cakes and arugula. Garnish with chives, if desired. Serve with green beans and almonds.
A little mayonnaise added to the crab mixture helps to hold these crab cakes together.