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A spring fresh take on the classic crab cake

  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This March 3, 2014, photo shows zucchini crab cakes with lime aioli in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

To help get me in the mood for spring, I’ve given a seasonal makeover to the classic crab cake.

I started by adding the fresh flavor of shredded zucchini. It melts into the bolder flavors of the other ingredients, yet still keeps the crab cakes tasting light. For a binder, I skipped the usual bread and instead used mashed potato, which gives the finished crab cakes a light and fresh texture. For a topping, I created a simple lime aioli, which lends a vibrant tang.

This recipe comes together quickly, but also is do-ahead easy. The patties can be prepped up to a day ahead, then refrigerated until ready to fry.

ZUCCHINI CRAB CAKES WITH LIME AIOLI

1 medium potato

1 medium zucchini

16 ounces lump crab meat, drained

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 whole egg, lightly beaten, plus 2 egg yolks

kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

all-purpose flour, for dredging

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Poke the potato all over with a fork. Microwave on high until completely tender, 6 to 10 minutes depending on your microwave. Allow the potato to cool until it can be easily handled, then peel and mash.

While the potato cooks and cools, prepare the other ingredients. Shred the zucchini on the largest holes of a box grater. Place the shreds in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze over the sink to remove any excess liquid.

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, crab, bread crumbs, whole egg, and cooled mashed potato along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir gently just until the mixture is combined. Using 1/2 cup of the mixture at a time, form 10 patties, arranging them on a plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together the garlic, 2 egg yolks, mustard, lime juice and zest, and vinegar. In a slow stream, drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. Season with salt and pepper.

After the cakes have chilled, dredge them thoroughly in flour.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the cakes, working in batches if necessary, and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the aioli.

Serves 10.

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