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Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

The yeasty flavor of sourdough bread pairs well with shellfish, and sourdough with cioppino makes a traditional San Francisco dish.

Michael Mina dresses up his soughdough bread with sweet, fresh-picked crabmeat that’s lightly seasoned with his rich, citrusy roasted pepper rouille. By serving these toasts open-faced and caramelizing the crab and rouille mixture, we add a little more depth of flavor. Whether you’re serving these knock-out toasts at your cioppino Super Bowl party or simply pairing them with a green salad for a special lunch, you can’t lose.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Don’t get burned. Use wax paper between the crab and the panini press to prevent sticking and control the heat.
  2. Plan ahead. You can make your crab-rouille mixture in advance, but keep it cold until right before you’re ready to toast it on the panini press. Once toasted, don’t peel off the paper until you’re ready to eat – this will keep the crab from drying out.
  3. Look sharp. After the toasts are pressed, you can use a serrated knife to trim the edges or cut them into smaller pieces for a more refined presentation.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Panini press. For a perfectly even crust on the crab salad, a panini press is essential. If you do not have a Panini press, you can use your toaster oven for similar results.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Medium bowl
  • Wax paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Offset spatula or wood handled spatula
  • Small baking sheet with rack
  • Panini press or toaster oven
  • Rubber spatula
  • Serrated knife
  • Knife and cutting board

  • 1 ⅓ cups crabmeat
  • ½ – ¾ cup rouille
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pieces of wax paper cut just slightly bigger than bread slices

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Active Time: 20 minutes

  1. Brush sliced bread with oil on both sides and place on panini press, toasting only one side. Leave press open until bottom of bread slices have started to turn olden brown (about 1 minute). Remove bread and place on sheet pan, darker side up. Heat a panini press to 380°F
  2. Mix crabmeat with rouille in a medium bowl. Add chives, lemon zest and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add rouille to dress the crab. You want the crab to be creamy but not over-dressed. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed with salt and lemon juice.
  3. Spread toasts with crab mixture. Cut squares of parchment the size of your bread slices and brush them with olive oil. Place the oil side down on the crab layer. Place toasts on the panini press and let toast for 1-2 minutes until the very top is golden brown. If you don’t have a Panini press, you can place these toasts in the toaster oven. Remove toasts from press and place back on sheet pan fitted with a rack. Leave wax paper on toasts until ready to serve. Cut each toast into 4.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Butter lettuce salad with a white wine vinaigrette & crab toast

This crab toast is amazing on its own, so we like to keep it simple by serving it with a salad of butter lettuce, shaved radish, chopped parsley, tarragon and chives tossed with a white wine vinaigrette.