While I was making this terrifically easy salad, I winced. It was so ladies-who-lunch, I half expected to have to put on a large hat to eat it. But it was beautiful to look at and so perfect for right now, that I realized it doesn’t have to be confined to the lunch hour. It would be a perfect supper. And aside from the hard-cooked eggs, it involves no cooking. It uses great fresh produce that’s to be found everywhere at the moment. And you could pick up everything you needed on your way home tonight.
When I came across this recipe in a recent issue of Food and Wine, it was in an article about the Evening Land winery. Apparently their President and sommelier, a man named Larry Stone is ‘a stellar cook’. As I said earlier, there’s no real cooking here, but I’ll give him a pass. It’s that good.
I wondered where the name came from conjuring up some vision of the Sun King, or a chef in New Orleans. Neither could be further away from what I discovered in my trusty “Food Lover’s Companion” (Barron’s 2009).This wonderful mini food encyclopedia attributed the dish to not one but three possible inventors: The chef at Seattle’s Olympic Club, the chef at San Francisco’s Solari’s Restaurant or the chef at that city’s St. Francis Hotel.The book went on to say ‘whatever the case, today there are about as many versions of this favorite as there are cooks.’ When you make it, I highly recommend sticking to the dressing recipe here. It’s luscious and adds incredible flavor to everything else on the plate But as to the vegetables, you could use some cooked asparagus or green beans or roasted beets and I am sure it would be every bit as satisfying.
This recipe is for 4. Even if there are only two of you, make the dressing for four because I think you’ll find it would be a great sandwich spread, or dressing for a slaw. Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Crab Louie adapted from Food and Wine:
For the Dressing:
1. PREPARE THE DRESSING: In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the ketchup, relish, lemon juice, garlic, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
2. MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE SALAD: Put the eggs into a medium saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the pan for 17 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel and slice the eggs into quarters.
3. Arrange the romaine, cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, eggs and on a platter. Top with large chunks of crabmeat. Put the dressing into individual ramekins if you have them or pass the dressing at the table.