There’s nothing that screams summer around the DMV more than fresh local blue crabs.

It’s just the plain truth. So we asked our friends at J.J. McDonnell if they might be able to spare us a few pounds of the good stuff (that’s lump crab meat, in case you were wondering).

First up in this amazing spread of CAVA-dips-meet-crab: Crab Cakes.

Harissa Crab Cake RecipeWe love the delicate spice harissa adds to this recipe; plus, tzatziki adds a great pronounced tang to this lightened-up (mayo-free) spin on tartar sauce. Here we go:

Harissa Crab Cakes with Tzatziki Tartar

for crab cakes:
1 pound backfin or lump crabmeat
4 Saltine crackers, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 to 6 shakes Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Cava Harissa
1 egg, beaten
½ cup mayo
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon Old Bay
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
extra Old Bay, fresh dill, and lemon for garnish

Gently pick through crab to remove all pieces of shell. Do not break apart large lumps of crab, though. Combine all ingredients and gently fold in crab. Don’t overmix. Form into six cakes. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with a little extra Old Bay, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 18 minutes. Turn your oven to broil for 5 minutes to finish them off. Carefully slide your crab cakes off the cookie sheet.

for tartar:
½ cup Cava Tzatziki
2 tablespoons small-diced pickles or cornichons
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon coarse-grain mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed (but not pureed).

Serve warm crab cakes with a small dollop of tzatziki tartar, a sprig of dill, and lemon wedge.


You can purchase our line of small-batch dips and spreads at your area Whole Foods or other area specialty market. 

Click here to find the one that’s closest to you.

Harissa Crab Cake Recipe

Harissa Crab Cake Recipe