Pesto Is The Fresh And Flavorful Sauce You Need To Brighten Crab Cakes

A crispy-coated crab cake with tender, sweet meat is the star of every good seafood menu and an icon of the East Coast. And while — like other fried seafood dishes — crab cakes are often eaten with tangy tartar sauce, the taste of this dish can be further elevated with the freshness of pesto.

The classic recipe being paired with an Italian staple may sound strange, but pesto is one of the best sauces for crab cakes. The nutty, herbaceous flavor from the pine nuts and basil in pesto complements the sweet, mild crab meat. And when freshly made, pesto works better than any store-bought dipping sauce could.

Although pesto pairs well as a topping for the crab cakes, the two can be eaten along with pasta, veggies, or many other side dishes. Add cooled crab cakes to a salad with pesto dressing or enjoy the decadent dish alongside a hearty pesto veggie soup.

Pair crab cakes with these pesto flavors

Seafood dishes are typically accompanied by a lemon wedge, providing a zesty flavor that enhances the food. Play up that citrusy taste with pesto di limone, or lemon pesto. Made from lemon zest and juice, as well as classic pesto ingredients like basil, pine nuts, and parsley, this bright sauce is the perfect complement for crab cakes.

For pesto that's as sweet as crab cakes, go with sun-dried tomatoes. The tangy, decadent pesto intensifies the sweetness of the crab cakes like no other when tossed with heavy cream in cooked pasta for a hearty, rich meal.

You could also enjoy steamy crab cakes with a refreshing cucumber salad. Crunchy cucumbers with cherry tomatoes, pungent red onions, and fresh mozzarella is the perfect side dish for crab cakes. Simply toss the salad in classic pesto made with basil and quality extra virgin olive oil.