Photo: Pam Krauss Books/ Avery of Penguin Group
- 8 slices good-quality sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 12 ounces lump crabmeat, drained and picked over for shells and cartilage
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1 cup grated Gruyère (or other favorite) cheese
- 3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 16 whole basil fresh leaves
Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and brush both sides lightly with the oil. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly golden and toasted. (It is easy to get distracted and char, instead of toast, your bread, so keep an eye on it.) Remove the bread and switch the oven function to bake, at 350 degrees.
Whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon zest in a small bowl. In a separate medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, onion, and salt. Add 6 tablespoons of the mayonnaise mixture to the crab and stir well to combine, breaking up any larger pieces of crabmeat with a fork. Spread the toasts with the remaining mayonnaise mixture. Divide the crab mixture evenly among the toasts and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.
Bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt. Remove from the oven and top each toast with fresh tomato slices, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a whole basil leaf.