Baked Pesto-Infused Dungeness Crab

Note: This pesto recipe makes 8 cups, which is more than enough for this dish.

1 whole poached and cracked Dungeness crab

Pesto:

3 bunches fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup roasted pine nuts

3 garlic cloves

1 bunch green onions, blanched

1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup Asiago cheese

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place the crab in a baking dish.

2. Put the basil, pine nuts, garlic, green onions, spinach, salt and pepper in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Gradually add oil and cheese, and pulse to a pleasing consistency.

3. Smother the crab with pesto sauce, making sure to cover meaty parts well. Bake for 7 minutes. (Freeze any pesto you don't use in small batches. Let come to room temperature before using. Do not microwave.)

-- Gaston Alfaro, executive chef, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company





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