Chef Tom Saab shares Bistro 218’s West Indies Salad.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Can’t cook? No sweat. Prepare Bistro 218’s West Indies Salad without a stove.
“This salad originates in Mobile Alabama and is our homage to Alabama cuisine,” Chef and Owner, Tom Saab describes. Bistro 218’s version of West Indies Salad adds the tasty additions of aioli and tomato to the traditional recipe. Yet crab remains the star of this dish with its delicate flavor shining through. “When cooking with crabmeat at Bistro 218 we strive to not mask the flavor with seasonings or fat.” And he achieves excellence in this delightful dish.
1 Egg yolk
1 Tablespoon cold water
1 Cup vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1 Teaspoon salt
Combine egg yolk and water and whisk vigorously with a whip for one minute. Slowly add oil while continuing to whisk creating an emulsion. Season with salt and lemon juice. Refrigerate until needed. Assemble the salad using two mixing bowls, a refrigerated plate and a food ring.
West Indies Salad Ingredients:
4 Ounces Fresh Lump Crabmeat picked
2 Teaspoons Non-GMO vegetable oil
2 Ounces shredded Iceberg or other mildly flavored lettuce
2 Ounces diced tomato. Seeds removed
2 Tablespoons aioli
2 Teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bermuda onion rings for garnish
2 Teaspoons finely chopped chives
Bermuda Onion Ingredients:
1 Small red onion thinly sliced
½ Cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
¼ Cup granulated sugar
West Indies Salad Procedure:
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive mixing bowl and refrigerate overnight. The following day, you will need two more empty bowls. In one bowl combine crabmeat, lemon juice, two teaspoons vegetable oil, and one teaspoon chives. Mix to combine. In the second bowl combine finely shredded lettuce, one tablespoon aioli and pinch of salt.
Place the food ring on the center of the refrigerated plate, place aioli dressed lettuce in the bottom of the food ring followed by the diced tomato, seasoned crabmeat and Bermuda onion. Spoon drag another tablespoon aioli around the plate and garnish with remaining chives.
Published, B-Metro magazine, May 2016
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