I am by no means green-fingered. Every pot plant I have ever owned has sadly died a death. It’s not through lack of love. I diligently water it and even talk to it but I think I just don’t understand plants. We’re clearly on different wavelengths. So it is with great caution that N has allowed me to be involved in tending our outdoor space. When we moved in a couple of years ago our garden consisted of a patch of grass, a couple of walls and a fence. Now it is a lovely little urban oasis with beautiful wooden furniture, a potting shed and a multitude of plants, many of whose names I forget on a daily basis! Up till now I’ve quite happily taken a back seat and let N create his dream garden (or do all the work as it could also be described) but my love of cooking inspired me to take a corner of this garden for myself and plant a few bits and bobs I could use around the kitchen. What once started as just a rosemary bush has now become an itty bitty allotment just outside my back door. To keep the rosemary company we have Moroccan mint, a bay tree, strawberries, and a herb trough featuring coriander, parsley, oregano and thyme. Ok I know it’s no prize-winning pumpkin but it’s a start, and for someone who has never really gardened the fact I now have my own gardening gloves and trowel and know where we keep the slug repellant is a pretty big step.
But there’s no point growing it if you’re not going to use it. Which is why it makes me so happy when I’m making a dish that allows me to open my back door and head out armed with my herb cutting scissors. This recipe for crab cakes, inspired by Nigel Slater, is a perfect use of my fresh coriander and is the perfect dish for a beautiful summer evening. Serve it outside with a glass of chilled rose wine for the ultimate in alfresco dining.
Crab Cakes with Coriander
(Serves 2 | total prep and cooking time 30 mins)
150g Brown crab meat
150g White crab meat
80g white bread crumbs
Juice and zest of a lime
2 spring onions – finely sliced
1 small chilli deseeded and finely chopped
Tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
– Put the crab meat, bread crumbs, zest and juice of lime, chilli, spring onion, coriander and mayo into a large mixing bowl
– Season with a little salt and pepper and mix thoroughly
– Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and make into small patties and set aside
– Heat a shallow film of oil in a non-stick pan. Using a turner gently slide the fish cakes into the hot oil. They should sizzle immediately. Leave them to form a crust and then when golden flip them over to the other side for 3-4 mins.
– Lift them out very carefully, they have a tendency to break, but they taste good no matter what they look like!