These creamy snow crab zucchini rolls with hummus and flakes of red pepper are a perfect feast for a warm summer lunch. Along with the rest of the recipes in Matt Dean Pettit's Great Shellfish Cookbook, they'll brighten up your remaining summer feasts - not to mention your year-round seafood cooking! I was provided with a complimentary review copy by Penguin Random House Canada, and this post contains affiliate links, but all opinions expressed here are my own. You can always count on me to only work with companies and products I love! Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.
Dive into these refreshing snow crab zucchini rolls
This summer, as most summers, I stayed away from the stovetop.
I know, I know, you don't believe me. Or you think I'm crazy. "But what did you eat, Ksenia??" you ask. "Did you go to a restaurant every time you wanted a meal? Did you only eat salads? Was everything served cold, lifeless, disgusting?"
And I'll just laugh in return.
For you see, our summer was anything but sad, cold or filled with restaurant food. Our summer was exciting, and fun, and filled with friends and family and meals cooked on the barbecue, with the sun setting over our heads, disappearing into the crown of trees visible from our grandiose new terrace. Our summer was whole trout, cooked on cooling embers; plantains, blistered until dark and oozing over a strong flame; and my grandmother's marinated chicken, broken into small bits and used in salads, sandwiches and lunches throughout the week.
One thing our summer didn't have, though, is extensive use of the stove.
Sure, there was the occasional canning project, or quiche. I would heat up tea, or boil water for compote. My man definitely made me eggs on weekend mornings. But other than that? Nope, the only cooking we really did was on an open fire (our barbecue is coal-based).
The Great Shellfish Cookbook
So when I received a complimentary copy of The Great Shellfish Cookbook by Matt Dean Pettit from Penguin Random House Canada, I knew that whatever recipe I made had to make no use of the stove.
So I looked through the book, thumbing wildly through the sections on Exotic Shellfish and Mussels. I swallowed the Oysters section whole, bookmarking nearly every other recipe. I avoided the Lobster section because frankly, unless the meat came from a can from the frozen fish aisle, I just couldn't picture myself disposing of that giant crustacean the way every self-respective chef should.
I must have marked about 20 recipes for future preparation - and not all of them were shellfish recipes. What I loved the most about The Great Shellfish Cookbook, besides its clear and concise instructions on how to dispose of said crustaceans (if you so choose to do), were its chapters on cocktails and non-seafood related sides. They paired beautifully with the book's raison d'etre, and made the main courses look even more appetizing. The little icons denoting which course each dish fits (brunch, party, dinner, etc) were also very helpful.
"These rolls are a fun take on pinwheels."- Matt Dean Pettit
Pettit's simple sauces (mornay, cocktail sauce, and others) are classics, and anyone learning their way around a kitchen would benefit from this fun, colourful cookbook - even if lobster and crabs aren't their favourite things to eat. My only qualm with the book was the index, which could have been better.
And then I came across Pettit's recipe for snow crab zucchini rolls.
Stunning it its simplicity, the recipe calls for no more than zucchinis, red pepper hummus, red onions, avocado and a few chili flakes. The zucchini could be cooked on a pan, but we cooked them on the grill, to great results. I imagine that if sliced really thinly, the zucchini could even be eaten raw. Then the main mixture is just put together, layer by layer, and each little zucchini strip is rolled lovingly around a centre of creamy, zesty, and bright snow crab filling.
And when the whole beautiful mess is popped into your mouth, trust me - you won't want to go back.
Snow crab zucchini rolls
- 2 large zucchinis
- 2 Tbsp 30 ml canola oil
- 1 medium semi-firm avocado
- ½ cup 125 ml red pepper hummus
- ¾ cup 175 ml freshly cooked or canned cooked snow crab meat
- 2 red Thai chillies finely diced OR ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ medium red onion finely diced
- Hot sauce for serving
- Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, thinly slice the zucchinis into six to eight long strips.
- In a nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil. Working in batches, add the zucchini strips without overlapping them, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds per side, or until slightly cooked and soft. You can also cook these on a hot grill, 60 seconds per side. Transfer the zucchini slices to a plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until needed.
- Cut the avocado into ¼ inch (6 mm) cubes and set aside.
- Lay the thin slices of zucchini out flat on a working surface. Spread one side of each strip with hummus and add a layer of crab meat, avocado cubes, chillies and onions. Starting from one end, slowly roll the zucchini strips, tightly folding in the crab mixture. You can close this with a toothpick, or just leave the end tucked underneath.
- Serve cold with your favourite hot sauce.