Crazy Crab Crostini

Today's recipe was inspired by the one-and-only sandwich from the Crazy Crab'z stand in AT&T Park! Every San Francisco Giants fan knows what I'm talking about. Along with Gilroy garlic fries and Ghirardelli sundaes, this sandwich is right at the top of the Must-Have List for a game at AT&T Park.

The Giants are on the road this week and, since I'll be watching at home, I wanted to bring a little piece of the ballpark to my living room. This is what I ended up with: Crazy Crab Crostini. Slices of sourdough are toasted in butter, garlic, and parsley, then they're layered with fresh heirloom tomato and a creamy crab topping.

To lead off, let's discuss the foundation: the bread. The original Crazy Crab is made with sourdough bread, a San Francisco staple, so I chose to go with a sourdough baguette. The skinnier shape is perfect for cutting up bite-sized crostini. Plus, you can use this recipe as an excuse to venture out to your neighborhood bakery and find local, handmade breads. Many farmers markets will also have stands selling loaves and baguettes baked that morning!

First, I cut the baguette into slices about a 1/2 inch thick. For me, this is just the right size. (There's nothing worse than biting into a huge piece of toasted bread and raking the top of your mouth with it, so I don't like making these TOO thick.) Then, I put a combination of garlic-infused olive oil and butter into the pan, sprinkled in some finely chopped parsley, and crisped up my sourdough in this mixture. A cast-iron skillet works great to get an even browning on both sides, but brushing on the parsley-garlic-oil mixture and then putting the bread under a broiler or on a grill works, too.

Next up, the tomatoes! When it comes to eating fresh, hearty slices of tomato, heirlooms work perfectly. I bought mine from Pierce's Family Farm at the local farmers' market. The Brandywine heirloom is known for its sweet, pure tomato flavor with just a slight acidic tang. And, I love that it's meaty and has very few seeds, so it's not watery or mushy. I seasoned them with a little sea salt and coarsely cracked pepper, to really draw out the flavor and make them super juicy. 

Okay, I'm going to insert some baseball metaphors here...If the sourdough and tomatoes were the "table-setters", the crab mix is definitely this dish's clean-up hitter. The refreshing sweetness of the crab and the rich dressing bring all of the flavors home and give this dish its power. To start the dressing, I made mayonnaise from scratch using clarified butter and not oil. (You can buy it at the store or make it yourself by melting a stick and scooping out the white milk solids that float to the top. It's a big difference-maker!) 

I slowly drizzled the clarified butter into an egg yolk while continuously whisking, until everything thickened into a smooth mixture. To loosen up the dense mayo, I used about a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. (Like with all seafood, it pairs well with the crab.) I also whisked in a tablespoon of softened cream cheese to really bolster the sauce. I hate to overuse the words "rich" and "creamy", but... RICH AND CREAMY RICH AND CREAMY RICH AND CREAMY.

Then, I folded this into the dungenous crab meat. If you don't want to buy these ginormous crustaceans and painstakingly pick out the meat by hand, grocery stores and seafood markets carry packages of lump and claw meat. Very convenient. 

Important note: I made a big bowl of dressing, but I only used a little over 1/4 cup--NOT the whole bowl. The extra leftover can definitely be refrigerated and saved for something else, though. (Lobster rolls, chicken salad, etc).

Finally, all that's left to do is construct the crostini! Top each slice of buttery, garlicky sourdough with a section of heirloom tomato, dollop on a generous, 1/2 tablespoon-sized scoop of RICH AND CREAMY crab, and garnish with fresh, herbaceous parsley.

This is an easy small-bite to prepare for watching Giants games at home, but it still has enough elegance to stand as an hors d'oeuvre at a cocktail party. With practically no cooking involved, they're quick to whip up, but high-quality ingredients and attention to small details give them their wow-factor! I hope these Crazy Crab Crostini make appearances at your gameday and cocktail parties this season :)

Crazy Crab Crostini (makes 16 individual servings)

Print Recipe

1 large Egg Yolk
6 tbsp Butter, melted
½ - 1 tbsp Lemon Juice, as needed
1 tbsp Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Dressing
6 oz. Dungeness Crab Meat
1 Heirloom Tomato
Salt & Pepper
Sourdough Baguette, ½ slices
½ tbsp Garlic-infused Olive Oil
½ tbsp Butter
1 tsp Finely Chopped Italian Parsley + more for garnish

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolk until creamy. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter a tablespoon at a time while continuously whisking. The mixture will become thick and creamy. Depending on how stiff the mayo is, add ½ - 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Whisk in the softened cream cheese and fully incorporate.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the mayo-cream cheese dressing to the dungeness crab meat, mix well, and set aside.
  3. Next, cut the heirloom tomato into ¼ in slices, season with sea salt & coarsely cracked pepper, and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter with the garlic-infused olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the finely chopped Italian parsley. Then, toast the sourdough slices in the pan for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove the bread from the pan, and place on a serving platter.
  5. Layer each piece of crostini with a slice of heirloom tomato and a 1/2 tablespoon-sized scoop of the crab mixture. Garnish the crostini with more finely chopped Italian parsley.