Quick, easy and dyn-o-mite, this salad is guaranteed to transport you right to a palapa on the beach, where you’re eating barefoot, with your feet digging aimlessly in the grainy sand, sand that’s still warm from the leftover heat of the just-set-sun. Can you hear the waves quietly lapping against the shore in front of you as the new moon cuts a silver sliver in the early evening sky? Ah yes. Here comes the first star.
You are in Loreto, the oldest permanent settlement in all of Baja. Yes. It’s true. Located nearly three quarters of the way down the peninsula, on the Sea of Cortez side, Loreto was founded by Padre Juan María Salvatierra, a Jesuit priest on October 25, 1697. The Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto is located in the center of town. It was the first of 20 missions founded by Jesuit priests in Baja before they were expelled in 1767 for mistreating the Indians. Loreto was the capital of Baja until it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1829—at which time the capital was moved to La Paz.
So, how are things in Loreto these days? Well, it’s been targeted by Fonatur, the Mexican tourist agency, to become the next Cancún or Ixtapa—serious tourist resorts both. It has a lovely malecón, a walkway that runs right along the sea, a new marina and some pretty swanky resorts that offer tennis, golf, fishing and diving. It has air service from L.A. and San Diego. Serves two as a meal.
1 pound cooked crab, diced and chilled
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1 3 1/2 ounce can sliced black olives
8 - 10 romaine leaves, rinsed and dried
1 1/2 cups tortilla chips
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Mexican lime juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups salsa fresca
Two to four hours before serving, combine all ingredients except lettuce, crab and chips. Cover and refrigerate. At mealtime, arrange crab mixture on top of lettuce leaves and garnish with chips.
Mix together ingredients for dressing in small bowl. Pour over salad, toss gently and serve.
Cooking with Baja Magic Dos - Mexican Recipes by Author Ann Hazard
This recipe is featured in Ann Hazard’ book, Cooking With Baja Magic Dos. The cookbook has over 60 new recipes with corresponding stories and all new art. Whether or not you have Ann’s original cookbook, you will want a copy of Baja Magic Dos! For more information on Ann and her Baja books, visit her facebook page or order her book from Amazon.com.