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Salad Days

A splurge-worthy brunch for Mother’s Day

Impress your mother and roll out this showstopping salad for a Mother’s Day brunch. Yes, this dish is a splurge, but life is short and she’s ya Mama. It’s also super simple, involves zero cooking, and takes minutes to make. The rich, decadent nature of the jumbo lump crabmeat pairs beautifully—and unexpectedly—with the bright flavors of the peppers, lime, and ginger. Chef Donald Link said the recipe, a favorite on the menu at stunning Chemin á la Le Mer, was inspired by his travels to the French Antilles. 

  1. Make the dressing up to four days in advance to marry the flavors. Give it an aggressive shake or hit it with an immersion blender to re-emulsify the dressing if needed.
  2. Chemin a la Mer sommelier Emily Kitzmiller recommends pairing a bright Immich-Batterieberg, Kabinett ‘CAI’2018 Riesling with the salad. This pairing will work with the shrimp whether using crab or shrimp.
  3. Try the recipe with 1 pound of peeled, deveined, and boiled shrimp jumbo (21/25) Gulf shrimp. If buying shell-on shrimp start with two pounds. Instead of boiling the shrimp with seafood boil use the juice of two limes and salt the water until it tastes like seawater. Cook the shrimp just until they are fully pink then drain and chill them before proceeding with the recipe.

West Indies Salad 

Shared by Donald Link, Chef/Partner Chemin á la Le Mer, Four Season Hotel, New Orleans

Serves 6 to 8 as a salad course, 2 to 4 as an entrée salad

For the dressing:

zest and juice (about two tablespoons) of one lime

1 tablespoon finely diced serrano chilies

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

1 pound jumbo lump Gulf crabmeat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage (take extreme care not to break up those precious lumps)
1 thinly sliced jalapeño, seeds removed and discarded
2 quarts romaine lettuce (about one large head), chopped into one-inch pieces
1 cup torn mint leaves

Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, combine lime zest and juice, chilies, ginger, vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk and set aside. 

Assemble the salad:

In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, jalapeño, and mint, use a rubber spatula to gently fold everything together, taking extreme care not to break up the lumps of crabmeat. Drizzle 1/2 cup of dressing over the salad and use the spatula to gently combine. Divide the salad among chilled shallow salad bowls. Drizzle each with a teaspoon or two of the dressing. Serve at once.

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