When I was little, every Mother's Day was spent at a nearby private golf & country club. They always put on a big buffet for holidays, and the dish I remember most of all was a crab and vegetable salad that had tons of fresh dill in it. I always got a huge serving of that. Chef-carved roast beef, fresh waffles with everything, or pasta-to-order? No thanks. Give me my crab salad!!
I don't remember how many Mother's Days we spent there, but one of the last times we went, I remember that the crab salad was absent. That must have been why we stopped going. Would make sense, anyway.
I have seen a similar salad in grocery store deli counters and it is usually labeled "Neptune Salad". It isn't quite the same, but still tastes good. The main difference is the salad from the country club had real crab (and not from a can), and Neptune Salad is made with imitation crab.
Here is my version, made with pasta, for under a whopping $1 per serving. (Most items you probably already have in your fridge or pantry.)
2 packages imitation crab
2-3 stalks celery
1/3 cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1-2 cups Miracle Whip
4 TBSP fresh chopped dill
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2-3 stalks scallions, chopped
1-1/2 cups elbow pasta
pepper to taste
celery salt to taste
1. Put Miracle Whip in a mixing bowl. If you like a light flavour, go with 1 cup. If you want your pasta creamy, use closer to 2 cups. Mix in the dill, scallions, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drizzle 3-4 TBSP olive oil over the pasta and toss to coat. Add black pepper (I use approx 1 tsp) and celery salt (try 2 tsp to start), tossing to coat. Set aside.
3. Chop celery, cucumber, and black olives.
4. Add sauce to pasta and incorporate fully. Add vegetables and olives. Mix thoroughly.
5. Tear imitation crab into bite size chunks and gently fold into mixture. Stirring too hard could cause it to break apart. Serve!
Sometimes I drizzle extra oil over the finished mixture and gently fold in. Recipes like this should always be done to taste, so make sure you are testing the flavour as you go along. This recipe get better in flavour over time. Just check the moisture level before serving and add in more oil or Miracle Whip if needed. Good right away, great in a few hours, amazing next day!