This salad can be made with any combination of seafood you like — lump crabmeat, octopus, squid, scallops, mussels, conch are all appropriate, although using more than three kinds results in a bit of a jumble.
In any case, try to make the salad and serve it immediately, without refrigeration. If you must chill it, be sure to let it return to room temperature before serving to let the flavors of the seafood really shine through. As a rule, cold food needs more salt and pepper than room-temperature food, so serving this lovely salad cold could make it seem a bit flat.–Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
Seafood Salad with a Creamy Tarragon-Mustard Dressing Recipe
- Quick Glance
- Makes 6 portions
- For the creamy tarragon-mustard dressing
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup tarragon mustard or Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup best-quality olive oil
- 1 cup light vegetable oil
- For the salad
- Salt, to taste
- 1 pound medium-size raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 pound fresh bay scallops, rinsed thoroughly
- 1/2 pound cooked lobster meat (about 1 1/2 cups meat, the equivalent of a 3 1/4-to-4-pound lobster), or a similar amount of frozen lobster meat, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
- 1 cup uncooked tiny peas, fresh or frozen
- 2 scallions (green onions), trimmed, well rinsed, and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Creamy Tarragon-Mustard Dressing
- 2 cups coarsely shredded raw spinach leaves, thoroughly rinsed and dried
- Make the dressing
- 1. In a blender or a food processor, combine the whole egg, egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and process for 1 minute.
- 2. Measure out the oil and, with the motor still running, dribble the oil into the processor or blender in a slow steady stream. Shut off the motor, scrape down the sides, taste, and correct the seasoning.
- 3. Transfer to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the salad
- 4. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a pot. Drop in the shrimp, wait 1 minute, and drop in the scallops. Just before the water returns to a full boil, pour the contents of the pot through a strainer set in the sink. Cool the seafood to room temperature.
- 5. Drain the lobster (if frozen) and sort through it carefully to remove any bits of shell. Reserve several large pieces of lobster meat (particularly claw meat) for garnish and cut the rest into chunks.
- 6. Reserve 3 or 4 shrimp and scallops for garnish and combine the rest with the lobster meat in a mixing bowl.
- 7. Add the peas and scallions, season lightly with salt and pepper, and pour in the tarragon-mustard dressing. Toss the salad gently and add more dressing if you like.
- 8. Arrange the spinach in a border around a shallow serving bowl. Spoon the seafood salad into the center of the bowl and arrange the reserved seafood garnish on top.
- 9. Serve immediately, offering additional dressing on the side if you like.
Seafood Salad with a Creamy Tarragon-Mustard Dressing Recipe © 2007 Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Photo © 2007 Susan Goldman. All rights reserved.