Coastal Salad

V51A3226Chef 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 explains. Bistro 218’s version of the West Indies salad incorporates the tasty additions of aioli and tomato to the traditional recipe. But crab remains the star of this dish, and its delicate flavor shines through. View the video of Saab preparing this salad at

Aioli Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Aioli Procedure:
Combine egg yolk and water and whisk vigorously one minute. Slowly add oil while continuing to whisk, creating an emulsion. Season with salt and lemon juice. Refrigerate until needed.

West Indies Salad Ingredients:
4 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 ounces shredded Iceberg or other mild lettuce
2 ounces tomato, diced, seeds removed
2 tablespoons aioli
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bermuda onion rings, for garnish
2 teaspoons chives, finely chopped

Bermuda Onion Ingredients:
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup granulated sugar

V51A3215-Edit-EditWest Indies Salad Procedure:

Combine all ingredients for Bermuda onion in a nonreactive 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 a 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.



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