Seafood can be a delicious addition to main-dish salads so popular during the warm weather months of summer. It supplies adequate amounts of protein and, depending upon the variety chosen, can add a boost of omega-3 fatty acid as well. Best of all, the fish can be broiled or baked the night before, when the weather is cooler, then wrapped tightly and refrigerated until ready to toss in the salad.
A variety of shellfish and fish can be added to your favorite salad recipe, and the possibilities are limitless where produce is concerned. In addition to standards like shrimp, crab, tuna and lobster, smoked salmon--once served almost exclusively as an appetizer--is gaining popularity in main-dish salads, and with this option cooking is unnecessary.
Possible seafoods from the Pacific Ocean include red snapper, swordfish, thresher, yellow tail and halibut. From the Eastern seaboard there is monk fish, scrod, cod, flounder and shell fish. Or, if freshwater fish is desired, try trout or farm-raised catfish.
Opt for Poaching
If the salad will be made the same day, opt for poaching since it requires little time and adds no fat. Otherwise follow this simple procedure if baking is the chosen method of preparation.
Season whole dressed fish, steaks or fillets lightly with pepper, salt and lemon juice and wrap tightly in foil. Place foil packet in an oven heated to 350 degrees and bake, allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Unwrap to check for doneness, then rewrap to continue cooking. Allow to cool, then gently remove meat from bones and chill in covered container.
TOMATO SHRIMP TOSTADA SALAD
12 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 pounds tomatoes, seeded, diced and drained
1/2 pound small cooked shrimp
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cups shredded lettuce
2 avocados, diced
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
Fry tortillas in small amount oil until crisp, drain on paper towels and reserve.
Combine lemon juice, cumin and salt. Beat in 1/4 cup oil. Gently combine dressing with tomatoes, shrimp, celery, onion, chiles and cilantro. To serve, top each tortilla with 1 cup lettuce and 1/2 cup tomato-shrimp mixture. Garnish each serving with avocado and yogurt. Makes 6 servings.
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (6 3/4-ounce) cans chunk pink boneless and skinless salmon, drained and chunked
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup carrot slices, blanched
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
Combine egg and water and mix well. Unroll half of dough into long rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 6 strips and roll each strip into rope about 25-inches long, using small amount flour as needed.
Using 3 ropes for each basket, begin coiling 1 rope on outside bottom of 6-ounce glass custard cup. Attach ends of rope together with small amount egg mixture. Continue coiling until most of custard cup is covered. Place cup upside-down on baking sheet. Continue making baskets with remaining dough. Press bottom of each basket lightly for flatter surface and press sides lightly so there is no space between coils.
Brush baskets lightly with remaining egg mixture and bake at 375 degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Press bottoms to flatten slightly, then let cool on pan about 20 minutes or until no longer warm but no longer than 1 hour. With sharp knife, gently loosen basket from cup sides and twist to remove cup completely.
Toss salmon, peas, carrots and onion together in bowl. Combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and dill until well mixed. For each serving, line basket with lettuce, fill with salmon mixture and pour dressing over. Makes 4 servings.
PINEAPPLE RING SALAD
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Dash dried dill weed
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup tarragon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 cup cooked shrimp
6 firm cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
12 small romaine lettuce leaves
Beat egg yolk with salt, pepper, dill, mustard and honey. Beat in oil and vinegar and add instant onion and sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate several hours or longer.
Meanwhile, cut 4 crosswise slices about 1-inch thick from center portion of pineapple, reserving remainder for other use. Cut about 3/8 inch in from outer rim of each slice and remove fruit. Cut out and discard core. Cut pineapple in wedges. Toss fruit with shrimp, tomatoes and onion. Place pineapple shell rings on chilled salad plates. Fill rings with shrimp mixture and tuck 3 small romaine leaves at back of each salad. Stir dressing and pour desired amount over each serving. Makes 4 servings.
SMOKED SALMON NICOISE
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar