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Recipe Challenge Winner: Amy’s Crab Cakes With Lime Aioli And Fennel Grapefruit Salad

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Try this “Appetizer” category winner, submitted by CellarMaster Amy Weinberg, with our Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

“Absolutely delicious cool summer appetizer…the salad is a refreshing compliment to the rich fresh crab!”

You will need:

Plastic wrap

a muffin pan

a large flat bottomed skillet

Prep Time: 60 minutes, including 30 minutes  for crab cakes to refrigerate and set.


For the Crab Cakes:

  • 8 oz. high quality crabmeat; preferably fresh
  • 1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil, for frying

In a non-reactive bowl, combine crab, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Place the beaten egg and panko bread crumbs in two separate bowls. Use plastic wrap to line muffin tin.  Using two large spoons, mold approximately 1/3 cup and dip into egg mixture, then panko crumps. Place each crabcake into the lined muffin tin and gently press flat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to set. While crab cakes are chilling, make the fennel  salad and the aioli.

To cook crab cakes, heat one inch of vegetable oil in frying pan over medium high heat.  Add crab cakes gently and sauté until golden brown;  gently flip and repeat; set aside on paper towels.

For the Lime Aioli:

  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup grapeseed  oil
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor add lime zest, lime juice, garlic, egg and egg yolk and turn on food processor to combine.  Next, while food processor is running, very slowly add in the two oils.  Finally, add in salt to taste.  Transfer to container and place in refrigerator to help firm it even further.

For the fennel grapefruit salad:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

On mandolin, slice fennel paper thin.  Chop a small amount of fronds and set aside for garnish.  Supreme and segment grapefruit and cut sections into thirds.  Toss fennel with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in grapefruit.

To plate: place a small mound of fennel grapefruit salad on one side of the plate.  Then smear 1 tablespoon or lime aioli an inch or two away from the salad on the larger side of the plate.  Place the crab cake leaning on the salad between the lime aioli smear.  Garnish with fennel frond and serve with a Montelena Sauvignon Blanc.


Submitted by Chateau Montelena CellarMaster Amy Weinberg


  1. Judy where is the fennel grapefruit salad and the instructions to make the lime aioli

    August 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Hi Ken – thanks for letting us know. The posting has been corrected.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

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About Our Authors

George Blanckensee

An expert event planner and an avid basketball and sports fan, George can tell you about all the best off-the-beaten path eateries.

Kali Clark

A Napa Valley native, Kali returned to the area after a stint on the East Coast and can be found documenting the latest happenings at the Chateau. When not behind the camera, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, travel, and enjoy the outdoors

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