2live crawfish or spiny lobsters of 500g (1lb2oz) or one of 1kg (2lb4oz)
100g (3½oz) butter
20leaves of basil, roughly chopped
Preheat the grill. Despatch the crawfish in the way recommended, and split them in two lengthways. Put the crawfish halves on a roasting dish small enough to fit under the grill. Season the flesh with salt and pepper and sprinkle with olive oil. Then, grill them for 5 minutes on the flesh side and 5 minutes on the shell side. (If you are using a barbecue, cook them shell side downwards for 5 minutes first, then flesh side downwards for a further 5 minutes.) Meanwhile put the butter with the basil in a small saucepan and let it melt over a low heat.
Turn the crawfish halves flesh side up and sprinkle liberally with the butter and basil. Without turning them, continue to cook the crawfish for 10 minutes more for 2 small ones or 20 minutes for one large one, basting frequently with the basil butter.
Serve with no further embellishment. The butter will have ‘nourished’ the flesh and perfumed it with the subtle fragrance of basil.
fresh dry white wines, such as Graves, Sancerre, and Côtes de Provence