I wasn’t quite in a salad-y mood that day. But then, it got me…just like that. And I am glad I gave in.
I had bought 4 cans of handpicked pasteurized lump crab meat. With two, I made the delicious crab cakes. That reminds me…I need to make them again, soon! I used the third can to whip up some spicy crabby dip to go with my crab cakes. All that was left, was this “I-am-so-lonely” can, sitting in my refrigerator all by itself and grumpily staring at me hard, each time I opened the fridge to grab something. That single can of crab meat was begging moksha, and I couldn’t have allowed a sacrilege. I genuinely wished good for the poor fella and wanted him gone too…to where his 3 other “canned” friends were and be at peace. But how?
Well, the case is…I AM a foodie. I love to eat. I adore feeding my kin well. But, but…who’s in for all that cooking? I mean…I made too many crab cakes for us, then the crabby dip. If that wasn’t enough, I also had some preparations underway for a soulful humble dinner. My body didn’t want to do any more of the kitchen-business. I knew the next few days were going to be long and tiresome. I wouldn’t have spare ATP’s left to plan a meal out of the crab meat. And that’s precisely how the salad-idea struck to me.
There’s this beautiful thing about salads. They’re easy, very forgiving and come in great varieties…so they don’t have to always look lean or be boring. And this was going to be my leftover Crab-meat’s shortcut to nirvana!
Crab Louie Salad is a more than century old recipe that originated in the West Coast, and is one of the vintage American foods today. It’s also called the king of all salads for a reason. This one was known to be immensely popular in the early 1900’s and has legendary stories of have been consumed by loyal connoisseurs in enormous amounts. Today, this salad can still be seen in the menus of traditional and unconventional restaurants in the West Coast. I first chanced upon it during one of my trips to San Francisco, several years back. As can be expected of me, I do remember eating the salad, but cannot recall the name of that restaurant (that is so me)!
West coast boasts of the best Dungeness crabs there are…and these crabs are almost symbolic of the San Francisco fishing industry. So, for the best Crab Louie salad, you need to get your hands on fresh Dungeness crab meat. But I don’t get them here. The east coast rather hails a heavy harvest of the Blue crabs instead. Though varying in taste, Blue crab meat could well be used as a substitute of the Dungeness crabs in this recipe. All I really did was roughly chop a couple veggies and boiled eggs and served them with the crab meat. Since I didn’t have time to devote doing an elaborate Louie dressing recipe (that is usually served alongside this salad), I made my easy peasy 2-ingredient, creamy fry sauce that tasted just as great. The salad made a great addition to our dinner table that night, and had all that we love…eggs, avocado, radishes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and of course the “now-got-lucky” crab meat.
The food left some fully stuffed bellies, happy hearts and many precious memories!!
- 8 oz (227 gm) handpicked pasteurized Dungeness crab meat (I use Blue crab meat, since I don’t get Dungeness here)
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved or quartered
- 1 baby cucumber, sliced
- 2 red European radishes, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
- Handful of parsley or cilantro, leaves picked
- 1/2 of an iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 cup fresh asparagus spears (optional)
- Arrange all veggie components, eggs plus chopped avocado over a bed of lettuce.
- Mound the crab meat in the middle of the platter.
- Serve the fresh crab louie salad with this easy 2-minutes, 2-ingredient spicy mayo dressing