Crab cakes flavoured with chives and lemon juice served on a bed of wilted fennel with an olive, cherry tomato and basil salsa.
Pick through the crab meat to remove any traces of shell or cartilage. Pulse the cod meat in a food processor until you have a rough paste. Mix the crab meat through the cod. Season with salt and pepper.
Zest and juice the lemon. Carefully chop the chives. Add the chives and lemon zest to the mixture and add a few drops of the lemon juice. Mix together and then add the breadcrumbs and the egg. Mix well and then shape the mixture into 12 evenly sized patties (2 per person).
Pick the parsley leaves and roughly chop.
Cut the fennel in half lengthways and remove the tough core. Finely slice the fennel on a mandoline. Place the fennel in a colander and season with the Maldon sea salt. Allow the fennel to wilt for 10-15 minutes. When the fennel is soft, dress with the olive oil, remaining lemon juice and the chopped parsley.
Blanch the cherry tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds and then place into a bowl of iced water. remove the skins and then cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. Places the cherry tomatoes ina bowl and season with salt and pepper and leave at room temperature for the slat to extract the juices form the tomatoes.
Peel and finely dice the shallot and puree the garlic clove. Add this to the tomatoes and stir gently.
Pick and shred the basil leaves and then cut the black olives into small pieces. Add the basil and olives to the salsa just before serving and finish with the olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 180'C
Heat a frying pan until hot and add the sunflower oil. Dust the crab cakes with plain flour and then pan fry the crab cakes on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to the oven and finish cooking for 5-10 minutes (depending on size).
Place a small mound of the fennel in the centre of a plate. Top with the crab cakes and then finish with a drizzle of the salsa around the plate and over the crab cakes. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
«If you want to get these crab cakes ready in advance, make them and then colour them in a frying pan (as above). Refrigerate and then finish cooking them through the oven when needed.»