Crab, pickled cauliflower, cucumber, black olive soil, dill oil

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Crab, pickled cauliflower, cucumber, black olive soil, dill oil

Serves 4


This recipe is taken from Cava Bodega: Tapas, a taste of Spain in Ireland by JP McMahon.


For the dill oil:

1 bunch of dill

250ml oil


For the black olive soil:

350g pitted black olives

50g hazelnuts

50g walnuts

50g charcoal crackers

sea salt


For the pickled cauliflower:

1 cauliflower, cut into small florets

250ml water

250ml white wine vinegar

250g sugar

1 tsp fennel seeds

20g salt


For the crab:

500g crabmeat

2 tbsp mayonnaise

handful of mixed herbs

(dill, fennel, chervil, chive), finely chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 cucumber, sliced lengthways on a mandolin

sea salt


  1. For the dill oil: Blanch the dill in a pot of boiling water and refresh in ice water. Dry and blend in a thermomix* until the oil reaches a heat of 100° Pour the oil into a small bowl and place the bowl into a small container of ice and water. This will allow the oil to cool quickly. Strain through a muslin. Pour into a small plastic bottle with a fine nozzle.
  2. For the black olive soil: Dry the olives in an oven or a dehydrator at 65°C until crunchy. This will take approximately 24 hours. Allow the olives to cool. Blend with the rest of the other ingredients in a food processor. Season to taste.
  3. To make the pickled cauliflower: Place the florets into a suitable container.
  4. Mix the rest of the ingredients and warm in a pot, then pour over the florets. Allow to cool.
  5. For the crab: Pick through the crab in order to ensure that there are no bones or cartilage in the meat. In a bowl, mix the crab with the mayonnaise and the chopped herbs. Grate the rind of the lemon into the crab mix. Juice the lemon and mix the lemon juice into the crab. Season to taste and check that the balance between the salt and the lemon is correct accordingly.
  6. To serve: Place two spoonfuls of crab in the centre of the plate. Garnish with the pickled cauliflower and the black olive soil. Curl the cucumber into cylinders and place on either side of the crab. Pour some dill oil into the bottom of the spheres.
  7. A thermomix is a food processor with a heating element. If you don’t have a thermomix you can use a digital probe to warm the oil up to 100° You will still need to process the oil at a high speed to achieve the desired results.

    JP McMahon is a chef, restaurateur and author. He is culinary director of the EatGalway Restaurant Group, which comprises Aniar, Cava Bodega, and Eat Gastropub. He also runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. Jp is committed to the educational and ethical aspects of food, to buying and supporting the best of local and free-range produce, and engaging directly with small farmers.


    The cookbook is available to purchase online.

Food on the Edge by JP McMahon Galway


Try also the free range duck, plums, px sherry and the goats’ cheese mousse, piquillo peppers, walnut powder by JP McMahon.

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