I am super excited about today’s feature, as it was shared with me by a gentleman from Alabama. A few weeks ago I was at an event in Tampa and most of the attendees were from out of state. The subject of my #TracyTastesAmerica project came up and when I told everyone I was working on features for Alabama, one of the gentlemen proudly exclaimed that he was from there and asked me if I had ever heard of West Indies Salad. Curious, I told him no and asked him for more delicious details. He gave me a quick history of the recipe and told me that it was a lump crab salad created in the late 1940’s by restauranteur Bill Bayley, owner of Bayley’s Restaurant just south of Mobile, AL. Intrigued, I looked up the recipe and recreated it. Simple and delicious, I can see why this recipe is still popular today.
The one thing that he told me, which was also mentioned in all the recipes I found online, is that this salad must marinate for at least 12 hours (I prefer 24) and the recipe must be followed to a T. West Indies Salad can be enjoyed with saltine crackers or toast points and fresh lemon wedges. I put Sriracha on everything so I could not resist trying it on this salad. If you are looking for something easy to whip up for an appetizer or to enjoy as a light lunch, this is perfect.
Alabama has been fun and I hope to make it there again someday. I have only driven through it on my way to Florida from California, but am not really anxious to explore the state. Next I am heading to Alaska which should be a fun and tasty challenge.
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1 lb fresh lump crabmeat
- 4 ounces Wesson Oil
- 3 ounces cider vinegar
- 4 ounces ice water (as cold as you can get it)
- salt and pepper
- saltine crackers (optional)
- lemon wedges (optional)
- Spread half of the chopped onion over bottom of large bowl.
- Top with separated crab lumps.
- Add the remaining onion and salt and pepper to season.
- Pour oil, vinegar and ice water over all.
- Cover and marinate 2-12 hours. (I prefer 24)
- Toss lightly before serving.
- Serve as a "salad" over a bed of lettuce or on crackers as an appetizer.
- I tasted this after it marinated for 12 hours and preferred letting it marinate for 24 hours, but that is entirely up to you!