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Crab Louie

This is a classic recipe—my version is pretty simple. Start with the best ingredients, and enjoy!

Yield: 2 lunch-sized salads

  • 2 extra-large handfuls of your favorite fresh salad greens—Little Gems, multi-colored small lettuces, Romaine, as you like
  • 2 gently hard-boiled eggs (I like them still creamy in the middle, see directions)
  • 2 big handfuls cracked and picked over crab meat (about 6 oz. to half a pound, depending on what you have leftover; or buy crab meat but make sure it’s fresh Dungeness!)
  • 8-12 of your favorite olives
  • Tomato wedges if you can get good tomatoes; a few cherry tomatoes are OK too
  • Whatever other vegetable garnishes you feel like putting on the plate, such as avocado slices, cucumber slices, radishes—check the fridge!
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Dressing:

  • 1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably Best Foods or homemade (nothing sweetened!)
  • 2-3 Tbs. bottled chili sauce
  • 1-2 Tbs. heavy cream, to thin the dressing

Wash the greens and mound in the center of your plate. Garnish with quartered eggs, olives, vegetables around the edges. Mound crab meat in the middle. Season with salt and a good grind of pepper all around. Combine dressing ingredients, adjusting the amounts to your taste. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

How to boil and peel an egg:

The best method I know is to use a generous amount of water, bring the eggs and water just to the boil. Turn off the heat, and let stand about 20 minutes. If you don’t have enough water, this won’t work—you’ll have soft-boiled eggs as the water will cool too fast. The method is perfect if you’re boiling a dozen eggs, so use enough water to have covered that many. You should end up with bright yellow, slightly creamy yolks and set whites. If your eggs are “too good” that is, too fresh, they will be a bit hard to peel—if you have a choice, use the ones that have been in the fridge longest. You can roll the eggs to crack the shell and then sit them back in the pot of water for a few minutes. Sometimes this helps loosen the shells—also, start peeling from the big end, where there’s a bit of an air-gap inside the shell.