From this post on until May 15th, our new post series “THE UNDERHAND COOKINGS” will be focusing on the sharing menu we will bring to Pop-up night at The Jam Tree (IT’S SOLD OUT!) in Clapham Common. The aim is both to torture all of you who will join us in this new extravaganza and to convince those of you who were a bit undecided to grab tickets for our next event!

Also, we had to test the dishes before giving them out! What do you think?



IMG_20130328_064124 (1)I tried crab in many different ways, most recent ones the legendary Black Pepper Crab and Chilli Crab back in Singapore.

I find that crab is a really versatile cooking friend, especially white Crab meat.

Delicate, meaty but still with its own flavour, Crab absorbs all sauces and naturally gives them a balance and a deeper, interesting texture. Either it’s on pasta or in salads or just on its own, Crab meat usually does its job beautifully.

All our guests and supperclub friends know that we are from Rome and that I tend to push our Regional cuisine beyond the national barriers. One combination of flavours which I personally love is the so called “Roman style dressing” which is made from Roman mint, Roman Mentuccia, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. That is how the famous “Carciofi alla Romana” are usually made. This dressing is so delicious and refreshing that I started experimenting and trying it out with different ingredients rather than only artichokes.
What follows is just about what I came up with and exactly what you are going to be served on May 15th



INGREDIENTS (serves 4 as a starter):

1 medium Courgette (when is say courgette I think of regularly sized courgette not the huge green tasteless monsters are commonly found in supermarkets)

¼ of a whole Lemon

1 hot chilli pepper

3 garlic cloves

1 handful of freshly chopped parsley

1 pinch of dried Roman mint

1 pinch of Roman Mentuccia (If you can’t get this two varieties of mint just use regular dried peppermint, it’ll be a bit different but it’ll do the job nicely)

200 g Crab meat (if you have time to hand pick your Crab meat from the actual Crab it would great)

8 thin slices of Sourdough bread or Italian rustic white bread

Pepper and Salt to adjust the flavour




Chop garlic and chilli. Put them in a pan with a little olive oil and switch on the fire. Chop the courgette in small dices. When the garlic starts browning add the courgette dices to the pan and toss. Add salt, pepper, dried mints fresh parsley and leave them cook all together. When the courgette will be nice and browned (3-4 mins) and the oil will be partially absorbed, squeeze your lemon into the pan and lower the flame.


Leave it cook for 5 more minutes tossing gently so that all the ingredients can mix together. Leave it cool for 30 minutes. This is our base for the crab salad. When cool, add the Crab meat to the courgette and mix with a spoon so that our meat will benefit from all the flavours. Put it in a bowl, cover it and leave it sit in the fridge overnight.



I like to think of this as perfect Sandwich filling: nutrient, healthy, slightly posh but full of traditional rich aromas, this is the perfect springtime starter or snack along with a glass of Prosecco. This is why we found funny (and cool) to serve it on a board in between two thin slices of fresh bread wrapped in grease proof paper as my hometown Salumiere used to do whenever he was making sandwiches for all of us kidscraving for a morning school snack.

Buon Appetito!


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The Backdoor Kitchen Dispatch

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