Some good news in 2021 — Crab season in the bay area has finally arrived! Now what goes better with crab than sourdough bread you may ask? Easy…MORSELS! The first pots have been put into the bay after several delays but, this week your favorite fishmonger will have fresh Dungeness crab available.
We haven’t always had a “Dungeness crab season.” Bay Area fishermen just caught, sold or served whatever they wanted before the establishment of a regulated marine calendar. In fact, crab fishing goes back over 100 years. It wasn’t until the 1930s, when San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf marketed fresh crab, cooked in cauldrons along the famous wharf, helping to establish it as the tourist destination it is today.
I’ve been uploading recipes in anticipation of the season starting and I see that our friends at Good Eggs are ready to deliver fresh crab to your door. But let’s face it, crab meat is very mild in flavor and works as a vehicle for lots of things…butter, spice, and acidity. Sound familiar? Whether you choose crab cakes or a beautiful smooth crab bisque with lumps of crab meat and a sprinkling of Margot’s Morsels Simply Sea Salt, it brings to mind the holidays and beginning of the new year. In California, the season goes long into the spring and even the beginning of summer. So, don't forget for a lighter soup, that Vietnamese crab and asparagus soup.
When the weather starts to turn and we will look to our outdoor spaces for brunch or lunch, I love to serve crab cakes over a fresh bed of garden lettuces and a simple vinaigrette — so refreshing. I’ve also linked here to Ina Garten’s tartar sauce which has a nice briny tang to it but, if you prefer a little sweetness on your crab cakes, here is the New York Times version made with sweet pickle.
And, don’t forget about the Italian condiment “gremolata," an easy combination of flavors and one of my “go-to” flavor boosters. Traditionally it is a fairly dry sprinkling of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic but think about combining it with your favorite flavor of Margot’s Morsels: Simply Sea Salt for the purist, Killer Garlic to enhance the garlic flavor or, Primo Parmesan for a little extra kick of cheese. Just combine 1 cup of your favorite morsels, crushed to a crumb with 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest (roughly 1 medium lemon) and top your favorite pasta recipe. I have one from our recipe page that includes the sweetness of fresh crab with just a hit of heat from red pepper flakes…YUM!
But if you’re a purist, just chop your garlic, melt your butter and spread out the newspaper on your outdoor surfaces for a satisfying crab feed — and, don’t forget your bib!
I’ll continue to post recipes this month since I’m searching for things for my own family but, as always, if you’d like me to cover something specific, just let me know at email@example.com. I’ll continue to tell you what’s happening in my kitchen and coax my husband, Milt, to guest blog on his baking adventures.
If you are in the San Francisco bay area, come to the farmer’s markets in the North Bay Area and look for us. Right now we’re in Mill Valley and Marin Country Mart in Larkspur. I would love to meet you and find out how you use morsels. Don’t forget to Get Your Crunch On!