A note on the spelling of the name. A Google search for the salad returns a page of recipes that are almost evenly split on whether it’s spelled Louis or Louie. There’s also a split on ingredients. Most recipes include the crab, tomatoes, and egg. They differ on the additional major ingredient–asparagus or avocado (some compromise and do both). Because I haven’t had asparagus on a salad for quite a while, I went with that. Of course, avocado or a combination would also be great.
For the shrimp cocktail salad, I made what I called a Louis vinaigrette, which I prefer to the heavier mayonnaise-based dressing that is standard for the Louis salad. I made the same dressing for this salad, of course.
The time for cooking the asparagus will depend on both the thickness of the spears and on your preferences. You don’t want to overcook and have the asparagus spears limp.
Crab Louis salad
hard-cooked egg, sliced
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
olives, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1–1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons cocktail sauce
Snap off the bottom parts of the asparagus spears, keeping just the tenderest parts. Some time before final salad preparation, bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the asparagus spears and cook for 2 to 2–1/2 minutes (this is for thin spears). Remove the asparagus spears and put them in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking and keep a nice green color. After a minute, remove from the water and let them drain and continue to cool on paper towels. I leave them out so they are at room temperature for the salad. I think this is better than cold from the refrigerator.
Arrange the salad on a plate with the crab in the middle. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, and cocktail sauce. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad. Add several lemon wedges for squeezing over the crab.