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Almost-soup salad...and other light combinations of seafood and fresh vegetables.

Almost-soup salad . . . and other light combinations of seafood and fresh vegetables

Mouth-watering and slimming, these three salads combine low-fat seafood with lots of fresh vegetables and lean seasonings. The fish adds substance; the vegetables, crunch. For a light meal, serve the salads with thin rounds of cracker bread, crusty bread, or crisp breadsticks.

The first offering is salad in soup form. Cucumbers, watercress, and green onions mix with yogurt to make a pale green bisque. Float diced tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and scallops (cooked seviche-style in lime juice) on soup.

A chili-oil vinaigrette seasons the shrimp salad. The Veracruz-inspired fish salad is minimally dressed with fresh lime juice. Present extra lime halves to squeeze over the ingredients.

Cool Sea Salad Soup with Scallops

1 pound bay scallops, rinsed; or sea scallops, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2/3 cup lemon juice

3 medium-size cucumbers

1/3 cup firmly packed watercress sprigs

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 cup unflavored yogurt Salt

2 medium-size ripe pear-shaped Roma-type tomatoes, diced

4 green onion curls (directions follow) or green onions (including tops), ends trimmed

In a bowl, mix scallops and lemon juice; cover and chill, stirring occasionally, until scallops turn opaque in thickest part (cut to test), at least 4 hours or up to over-night. With a slotted spoon, lift out scallops; reserve lemon juice. Cover and chill scallops.

Cut off 1/4 of 1 cucumber and set aside. Coarsely chop remaining cucumbers. Also set aside 4 pretty watercress sprigs. In a blender, whirl at high speed the reserved lemon juice, chopped cucumber, sliced green onions, remaining watercress sprigs, and yogurt until mixture is very smoothly pureed, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste. If desired, cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Thinly slice the remaining cucumber section. Drain any liquid from the scallops and stir into cucumber puree. Pour equal portions of soup into 4 wide soup bowls. Float 1/4 the chilled scallops, diced tomato, and sliced cucumber on soup in each bowl. Garnish each bowl with a watercress sprig and green onion curl. Makes 4 servings.

Green onion curls. Trim root and tip of stem from 4 green onions. Make parallel cuts about 1/8 inch apart from tip of stem down to solid part of each onion. Immerse onions in ice water; let stand until stems curl, at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. Drain the onion curls and shake off excess moisture.

Chili Shrimp and Corn Salad

3 small dried hot red chilies

1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups corn kernels, cut from 2 large ears of corn; or 1 package (10 oz.) thawed frozen corn kernels, drained

1 medium-size red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 pound medium-size shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2/3 cup cider vinegar

1 pound spinach, stems and yellow leaves removed, green leaves washed and crisped

1 pound green leaf lettuce, washed and crisped

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine chilies and oil; stir over medium heat until chilies are lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Add pepper, corn kernels, and red bell pepper. Stir constantly over high heat until vegetables are tender to bite, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp; stir just until they turn light pink, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in soy sauce and cider vinegar; spoon the shrimp mixture into a small bowl. Let cool, cover, and chill until shrimp are cold, at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Meanwhile, tear spinach and lettuce into bite-size pieces; you need about 4 quarts, lightly packed. Place torn greens into a large salad bowl; spoon shrimp mixture over greens. Use chilies as garnish or remove and discard. Mix salad and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Veracruz Fish Salad

1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets such as rockfish or orange roughy

2 large ripe tomatoes

1/2 cup lime juice

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

3/4 cup Spanish-style green olives

1/4 cup drained capers

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

Salt and pepper

4 large iceberg or butter lettuce leaves, washed and crisped

4 lime halves

Place fish in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Cover and bake in a 400| oven just until fish is opaque in thickest part (cut to test), about 15 minutes. Cool, cover, and chill until cold, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Lift out fish; discard pan juices. Pull out and discard any bones from fish. Break the fish into bite-size chunks.

Core tomatoes and coarsely dice. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, olives, capers, green onions, and fish; gently mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place lettuce leaves on 4 dinner plates. Spoon equal portions of fish mixture, using all, into each lettuce cup. Garnish each plate with a lime half. Makes 4 servings.

Photo: Salad ingredients--cucumber, tomatoes, and scallops--float on a cool green puree of watercress, cucumber, and yogurt

Photo: Saute shrimp, corn, and red bell pepper in chili-spiked oil; season with cider vinegar and soy asuce, then mix with spinach and leaf lettuce for a colorful, spicy salad

Photo: Light dressing of lime juice moistens chunks of fish, olives, and tomato
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Sep 1, 1986
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