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Brioche Crab Melts

Vitaly Paley, the chef and owner of Paley's Place, created this deliciously indulgent version of the classic tuna melt while competing in a cook-off sponsored by the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. Pairing moist chunks of crab with brioche, truffle butter and nutty Gruyere cheese easily snagged him a first-place prize.

slideshow  More Recipes With Crab


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 8 small, round brioche or buttery dinner rolls, split crosswise
  • 6 tablespoons truffle butter or unsalted butter, softened (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple—quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Several dashes of hot sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese


  1. Preheat the broiler. Spread the cut sides of the brioche with the truffle butter and set on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Broil the rolls 6 inches from the heat, until toasted. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, red onion, parsley, lime juice, apple and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the crabmeat.
  3. Set the top halves of the rolls aside. Top the bottoms with the crab salad and sprinkle with the Gruyère. Bake in the upper third of the oven until the cheese is melted. Close the crab melts and serve.

Make Ahead

The crab salad can be refrigerated overnight.


White and black truffle butters are available through Urbani Truffles at urbanitrufflesonline.com.

Contributed By Photo © Rob Howard Published February 2006

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