Avocado Crabmeat Salad

Avocado Crabmeat Salad

A Recipe from Ida Bailey Allen’s Time-Saving Cook Book (1940)

About the Recipe

I love a recipe that looks super fancy but was a snap to put together – and thankfully this is one! Full disclosure, I’ve never made proper Russian dressing before. My only exposure to Russian dressing was some mystery, chunky dressing that smelled a little funny and made squishy noises coming out of a bottle… so not great. This Russian dressing is divine. Not only is it perfect for mixing with any kind of flaked fish for a quick salad, but it jazzes up any salad that you’d like to put it on. Definitely a winner!

About the Book

For those not familiar (I wasn’t), Ida Bailey Allen is an “author, lecturer, broadcaster, and one of America’s leading authorities on foods and cookery.” She was a food editor at Good Housekeeping magazine, and instituted the standard tested recipe in 1916 – thank you, Mrs. Allen!

There are so many things to love about this book, but I’ll undoubtedly cook from it again so I’ll try to focus on just one thing this time around. Mrs. Allen starts the book with The Time Saving Kitchen – tips and tricks on how to set up your kitchen for efficiency! Here are some of my favorite gems from this section:

  • Don’t crowd your kitchen; make it modern, cheerful, gay
  • Have some asbestos mats – saves dishwashing time.
  • A good puree sieve is essential.
  • Stop being a Table Hopper!
  • Accurate measuring utensils are more essential than a new parlor suite. Yet they cost only about half a dollar!

This book is just so delightful in so many ways. I can’t wait to cook from it again!

The Recipe!


2 medium-sized avocados
1 cup chilled flaked crabmeat
Russian Dressing (see below)

Russian Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
3 T chili sauce
1 T minced green pepper
1 T minced pimiento
1/2 t paprika
Few drops onion juice
1 chopped hard cooked egg
2 shredded sardines or anchovies (optional)


All the ingredients should be very cold. Mix the crabmeat with the Russian Dressing. Cut the avocados in halves lengthwise, peel, and remove the seeds. Fill the centers with the crabmeat mixture and arrange for service on the lettuce.

Russian Dressing:
Combine the ingredients and use in preparing a salad bowl containing lettuce and fish, or lettuce, tongue, and chicken; or serve on hears of lettuce, romaine, or French endive.


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