Tomatoes Topped With Crabmeat and Basil

September Issue of House Beautiful
Photo:Johnny Miller

Simple ingredients go a long way in this easy, elegant snack.

If you don't have the time or the inclination to peel the tomatoes, use the juiciest tomatoes you can find, slice and season them, top with the crabmeat and basil, and enjoy!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe medium to large Creole or other in-season tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 sprig fresh basil, 6 small leaves reserved for garnish and the rest finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over 
  • Basic Creole Spices
  • 3 - 6 chive or garlic chive blossoms for garnish, optional

Directions: 

1. To peel the tomatoes, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Core the tomatoes, then score the bottoms by making a small X. Blanch 3 tomatoes at a time for exactly 5 seconds per batch, moving them around with a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon. Transfer the tomatoes cored-side down to paper towels to let drain and cool briefly, then peel off skin and discard.

2. Using a teaspoon and starting at the core, carefully scoop out the center of each tomato, creating a bowl. Cut the bottom thirds off and set aside (you'll use them as lids to top the tomatoes). Season tomatoes with a little salt.

3. Mix the mayonnaise, chopped basil, lemon juice, and mustard together in a medium bowl. Add the crab, stirring gently so as not to break up the meat. Season the crab salad with Basic Creole Spices and salt. Stuff the tomatoes with the crab salad and garnish each with a basil leaf and chive blossoms, if using. Set a tomato lid on top of each one.

John Besh is an award-winning chef owns 11 restaurants, has written three books, and regularly cooks at home for family and friends. This recipe originally appeared in the 2015 September issue of House Beautiful.

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