Manhattan's Grand Central Oyster Bar serves this dish each spring, in softshell season.
- 8 tbsp. salted butter, softened
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. white wine
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh dill
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh chives
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
- 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh basil
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 8 jumbo softshell crabs, cleaned
- 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 cut into quarters
- 4 sprigs curly parsley
Combine butter, garlic, shallots, wine, dill, thyme, chives, cilantro, minced parsley, tarragon, and basil in a bowl and set aside.
Combine flour and salt and pepper to taste in a wide dish. Heat half the oil in a a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge half the crabs in the flour, then sauté crabs, turning once, until golden brown, 2-2 1⁄2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat process with remaining oil and crabs.
Remove skillet from heat, add garlic-herb butter and lemon juice, and swirl until melted. Divide crabs between 4 plates; spoon butter over crabs. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.