Alabama restaurateur William “Bill” Bayley created the exotic-sounding West Indies salad — layers of onions and crabmeat soaked in oil and vinegar — in 1947. You can order the original at Bayley’s Seafood Restaurant in Theodore and variants at restaurants throughout Lower Alabama.
West Indies Salad
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound fresh crab claw meat, picked through for shells and cartilage
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup ice water
- Spread half the chopped onion over the bottom of a large bowl. Cover with separated crab lumps and then the remaining onion.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add the oil and vinegar.
- Strain the ice through a sieve to remove the ice cubes, then add the well-chilled water to the salad. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
- Toss lightly, then taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.